Fractional Ownership and Live Like a Millionaire

By: David Yarian

Do you want a more plush way of life -- but lack the million$ in ready cash to finance it? You've worked hard and you've done well, but the corporate jet, the yacht and the $4 million seashore home are out of reach for now.

Fractional Ownership may be the answer to your dilemma! With fractional ownership, a high-priced asset (jet, yacht, vacation home, classic car) is owned in cooperation with several other individuals; each owns a percentage share of the asset and has defined rights and privileges pertaining to its utilization. A management company provides the continuity and organization to permit share owners trouble-free and predictable access to the asset.

This concept works well with many types of assets that may be used periodically. As an example, second homes are occupied by their owners 2 - 4 weeks per year on average. If you've visited a marina lately, you've observed that the majority of the slips are occupied by boats - i.e., they are not in use. Corporate jets sit idle until travel is required by the executives.

Fractional ownership provides you ,the share owner, reliable access to that luxurious asset you desire or need but are not inclined to pay for 365 days a year. And, because you are part of a group of owners, all maintenance, management, upkeep and repair costs, taxes and insurance are shared among the group. The management company provides a schedule for owners' usage, and takes care of routine maintenance, accounting and repairs.

In short: you have what you want, when you want it -- without the headaches, expense and liability of full individual ownership.

Fractional ownership is being used more and more for ultra-luxury items. Numerous corporations sell fractional shares of corporate jets(flexjet.com, netjets.com); turboprop aircraft (avantair.com); and helicopters (heliflite.com, sikorskyshares.com).

Fractional ownership of luxury boats and yachts -- both power and sail -- is widespread. Companies like monocleyachts.com, eusamarine.com, and seanetco.com provide fractional ownership of yachts on the East and West coasts, in the Caribbean and in the Mediterranean.

Classic cars such as the Lamborghini Murcielago, Lamborghini Gallardo, Rolls Royce Phantom, Bentley Continental GTC, Aston Martin Vanquish S, high-end Porsches and the Ferrari 360 Spider are accessible through fractional ownership with such companies as extremecarshare.com, curvyroad.com, and clubsportiva.com. Fractional shareowners in these clubs might decide on a membership that lets them to alternate their possession of different cars in the fleet, rather than only being the owner of a fractional share of one classic car.

RVs are another category of luxury item that often sees only episodic use, so wisdom dictates fractional ownership here too. Both coachshare.com and sharerv.com offer fractional shares of Monaco luxury coaches.

Racehorses have long been owned by syndicates -- collectives of owners who join together to spread the expenditure and risk. Associates of syndicates were often friends or business associates who knew each other and privately set up the syndicate. Now fractional ownership models are coming into use. In Britain, the 2005 Vodafone Derby winner made history in the racing world: Motivator, the winning horse, did not belong to a super-rich breeder or famous person, but by a syndicate of 230 people from the business classes.

The fractional ownership idea is being creatively expanded into many areas. Wine Estate Capital Management offers fractional ownership of vineyards in France and South Africa. Numerous art doners are finding it valuable to donate a fractional share of their art to the museum of their preference, thus ensuring the museum's continuing enjoyment of their collection for a portion of each year.

Luxury purses are now obtainable by fractional ownership, so if you would like to diversify your collection without buying them all, your dilemma is solved. Shouldercandy.com offers handbags by Chloe, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Chanel and more.

The most widespread use of the fractional ownership idea, though, is in the vacation home sector. Because of the growing attractiveness of fractional vacation home ownership and the added challenge of dealing with real property, this theme will be the subject of a subsequent article.

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