- Fractional ownership initiatives are making some expensive luxury items more affordable
- The concept sees people pool their resources to share the likes of yachts and private jets
- Flyvictor and Monocle are two companies helping consumers to employ the concept
Nothing says you've made it in life or business quite like the glamor of a yacht or private jet.
These extravagant toys of the rich and famous are perhaps the ultimate in status symbols, good for business and a comforting boost to the ego of their wealthy proprietors.
The only problem is attaining one of these stylish items has traditionally required a shed-load of cash preceded by a healthy dose of success -- but that isn't necessarily the case anymore.
An increasing number of people are pooling their resources to buy up and then share grandiose luxury products like yachts and private jets through fractional ownership initiatives.
"It's great to bring clients and business contacts on the boat because the boat is a place more small ... more intimate," yacht owner Dino Ballestra told CNN.
Ballestra previously owned his vessel outright but recently sold off a 75% stake to other investors, keeping the remaining 25% for himself.
"Because the costs of running a boat are very high I'm looking to share the pleasure of the boat with a group," he explained.
Fractional ownership models like those employed by Ballestra work upon the basic principle that things you don't use all the time are worth splitting costs over.
The concept was first introduced to the field of luxury travel in the 1980's by forward-thinking firms such as Netjets, who brought together buyers to purchase private jets using a time-share-like model.
Today, internet savvy companies such as Flyvictor have constructed their own market-based version of the fractional ownership model.
"We're helping the industry to become more efficient by allowing owners to charter their aircraft through the victor platform and allowing people who want to charter a jet -- not own a jet -- and take all the benefits of flying private to and from destinations," explained Flyvictor founder, Clive Jackson.
Flyvictor's website acts as a forum where owners or co-owners can advertise their jets for charter or hire. Those looking to fly solo or band together with fellow travelers meanwhile can browse to see what's on offer.
Customers are never guaranteed to get exactly what they are after but if they're lucky they may be able to pick up a bargain.
"Everyone likes to do deals, particularly the ultra high-net-worths, so if they can find an empty aircraft flying back for $50,000 dollars then why not, and if they can't they'll book a full fare aircraft," said Jackson.
These same principles of savings and efficiency are at the core of yachting company, Monocle, which aims to bring fractional ownership to the high seas.
According to Monocle president, Loren Simkowitz, sharing guarantees the benefits of ownership without the hassle and expense of full management.
"It's the high cost ... that drives people out of yachting," he said. "Most people use (a yacht they purchase) three to four weeks a year. The rest of the time it sits around as an idle asset depreciating. You spend more time managing the boat than your business," he added.
With an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals looking to save money where they can, Simkowitz believes those opting for fractional ownership plans will only increase in the coming years.
"I think it's the wave of the future," he continued. "People are much more fiscally prudent with their money. People don't want to be tied down to an asset they use infrequently. They're smarter than they were in 2000," he added.