January 17, 2007 We’ve written before about the growing trend towards fractional ownership moving from cars to almost every aspect of lifestyle. Fractional ownership is the concept of dividing an expensive asset into percentage shares and selling those shares to individual owners. Each person who owns a fractional share then gets a relative percentage use of the asset. More often than not, a company manages the asset and owners pay fixed fees for the management in addition to variable fees for use. For rapidly depreciating assets, such as high-end vehicles, the management company may sell the asset after a fixed period and distribute the proceeds back to the owners. Now a new web portal named Fractional Life is providing a one-stop site to assist consumers in making sense of the currently expanding fractional ownership marketplace. The website also covers those companies that offer lifestyle experiences such as the use of supercars, jets, yachts and other top-end luxury products but without the consumer owning a particular segment - anything asset-sharing, part-ownership or experience sharing based.
So far, so dull and technical. But think of it as having your cake and eating it- consider owning your ‘own’ yacht but without having to splash out on the original purchase cost, concern yourself with maintenance and repairs or trouble your accountant with depreciation.
Sections include supercars, jets, yachts, property, residence clubs, condo-homes, vineyards, racehorses and even handbags. There’s a great reference section for consumers giving advice on what to look for through comparisons and articles from respected journalists, and also the important questions to ask prior to joining a prospective asset-sharing Club or purchasing a fractional interest in something. This can range from being part of the Yellowstone Residence Club, where your membership is only considered if you can demonstrate $3 million in liquid assets to owning a fraction of a racehorse for a couple of thousands of pounds a year.