You have to understand that when you buy a yacht, it's like buying a high-end watch. Whether you’re into Breitling or TAG Heuer or any other kind of exclusive sporty watch brand, there is a certain reputation these brands have to live up to. They make a big deal of how exclusive they are. They make a big deal of their pedigree.
Many of these watches, of course, come from the watch capital of Switzerland. In other words, if you're looking for a luxury watch, you don't look for such a watch in such places like Beijing, Guangzhou Hong Kong, Taipei or even Tokyo or any city in Germany.
Instead, you go straight to the motherland. That's right. You go to Switzerland. Switzerland has turned otherwise cheap hunks of steel into expensive pieces of art. That's what's so awesome about Switzerland. The country is not rich because of the minerals buried under its soil or the huge amount of fruits and vegetables at its farms. No. The country is rich because of its people’s skills. Human capital.
If you read about its economic history, one fact jumps out at you. It really does. It jumps out at you and slaps you around. What fact is this? Switzerland, for intents and purposes, does not have any natural resources. It's like Japan. It’s basically a rock.
What makes it so rich is its people. They would take steel that other countries make for dirt cheap and then through ingenuity, engineering and, most importantly, amazing marketing, turn it into a luxury product. If you were to melt a watch, it will turn into steel for the most part. This is why Switzerland excels.
I raise the issue of Switzerland because, really, it boils down to marketing. When you are buying a yacht, don’t just focus on the brand. Focus on why that brand exists. Focus on the after-sales marketing. Focus on the engineering.
That's how you can tell up-and-coming brands from truly established brands as well as from absolute fakes that you have to avoid at all costs. Understand that after-sales services are crucial when you are buying a yacht. This is a big deal because this is why only truly rich people can afford yachts.
I'm sure a lot of middle-class people have great years and that's why they would be able, if they really push themselves, to buy a yacht. However, the analysis doesn’t end there. You have to look at the cost after the sale. We're talking about storing your yacht in the right marina, making sure that the engine us turned over regularly, making sure that it’s properly maintained.
Please understand that getting your yacht serviced is very different from getting your car serviced. This is on a completely different league, it‘s in a completely different level, so will your costs.
So, do yourself a big favor. Make sure that you can truly afford a yacht and put together a plan to maintain it after you buy it. Otherwise, you probably would be better off buying some other kind of vehicle.