Successful Investment

Steven Buttlar

A horse portfolio with excellent returns:entrepreneur Holger Hetzel‘s innovative investment strategy

Low interest rates for investors and the ECB‘s recent increase of penalty interest on deposits for banks make alternative investment opportunities all the more appealing. Wine, vintage cars and art provide higher returns than many traditional investment strategies. Whisky has stormed to the top of this year’s Knight Frank Luxury Investment index, and according to global retail consultants Knight Frank, the value of rare whisky increased by almost 40% through 2018. The KFLII shows that whisky is followed by coins (12% annual growth) and wine and art (9% growth). One item that doesn’t yet appear in the index but deserves a place in future, according to Holger Hetzel, is horses. For more than ten years now the equestrian expert has been in the business of generating high returns with investments in horses.  

Holger Hetzel, Managing Director of Hetzel Horses GmbH, is a top professional rider and a successful entrepreneur who has turned his hobby into a successful business. “Over the past two decades equestrian sport has evolved into a serious line of business that isn’t receiving the attention it deserves in my opinion! Some 1.6 million people in Germany are currently involved in equestrian sport and it provides a livelihood for some 300,000 people. Livery, training, feed and equipment are all generating billions of euros in business in Germany alone!”

That’s pretty impressive. 15 years ago a horse selling for more than a million euros was a sensation. Today we’re seeing horses being sold for seven and eight digit sums. All of these horses began as novices that were discovered and professionally brought on by experienced trainers such as Holger Hetzel. The business of selling horses generates turnover of around 886 million euros in Germany alone. Some 90 million euros of that is accounted for by auction revenue.

Horses as investments: returns often higher than 15 percent

Holger Hetzel operates in the premium equestrian sport segment. Exceptionally talented jumping horses are sold to buyers around the globe at his annual Sport Horse Sales every November in Goch. All the horses in the auction collections are carefully selected and meticulously trained by Holger. Hetzel: “I’ve been investing in horses very successfully for many years and I’m also an investment consultant in this segment. To achieve a broader diversification of the capital invested it can make sense to team up with other investors and invest in a horse portfolio. ROI of more than 15 percent is no exception. Investing in one single horse can deliver a higher return, but it’s also associated with a higher risk. To reduce that risk, it is possible to take out life insurance for the horses in the same way that football clubs take out life insurance for their players.”

Holger Hetzel played an instrumental role a few years back in setting up the world’s very first investment fund in Luxembourg focusing on horses. He advises investors who want to set up similar fund structures and has helped his clients to achieve demonstrably good results.