GOLDEN VISA - WHAT'S NEW IN 2022?

Fund Snapshot

Q&A

Each fund manager or fund advisor has been invited to answer a series of questions about their own funds as well as the market in general.

We sat down Artur Gama to find out more about Gaia Investment Fund.

Could you please start by giving us some background about yourself and the team working on Gaia Investment Fund, particularly the role of Square Asset Management?

We are a fully Portuguese team, with decades of experience in wine and cork production and management.

The General Partners of the fund complement each other very well; one has been working in the wine and cork industry for over 15 years with tremendous success whilst the other has been CEO of some of the biggest Portuguese companies in the last 35 years. Gaia Investment Fund has in the team the industry knowledge and the management competences.

Our Fund Manager is Insula Capital a fully independent entity with a team made up of real estate experts and financial market agents with experience at banks and other financial institutions). This provides a solid base upon which they look after the interests of the investors and its capital is mainly held by top management.

Why did you decide to create Gaia Investment Fund?

We are passionate about what we do and we want to share it with our investors. We care about the environment and climate change so our goal has always been to improve a scarce commodity like the land. Creating a fund that, instead of focusing on real estate, has a much more conservative, predictable and eco-friendly approach will allow investors that share the same vision we do to gain access to the Portuguese Golden Visa through an investment in wine and forestry.

Has the management/advisory team invested in Gaia Investment Fund and, if so, please tell us more about it

Yes, we have personally invested in the Fund and we also invested in the assets currently in the portfolio. We did this because we believe in what we do and we want our interests to be fully aligned with our investors’.

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Min investment: €150,000 · Lifetime: 8 years · US Citizens: OK! 👍🏽· Subscription deadline: September 2023 🗓️
Gaia Investment Fund’s dedicated sector is agriculture and, more specifically, focuses on wine and cork. These are two very traditional Portuguese products but are unusual in the context of the current Golden Visa fund ecosystem. Please explain your thought process behind this decision.

Gaia Investment Fund invests in existing vineyards and wine production, as well as forestry and cork, to promote sustainable practices and production whilst growing one of Portugal’s most recognisable industries.

Wine and cork have historically been great allies. As a product they complement each other very well, but the same is true as a business. Wine is a fascinating product with a huge upside potential, it’s a very trendy commodity and Portugal is one of the world’s biggest players.

Worldwide over 70% of all wines today are sealed with cork stoppers; there is a clear preference for cork which is driven by factors like sustainability, innovation and premiumisation. Cork forests have very stable cash flows and fixed costs and Portugal is the number one in the world in terms of planted cork area and export value.

How would you describe the Gaia Investment Fund’s risk profile; Conservative, Moderate, or Ambitious?

Very conservative. Our main focus is the preservation of our fund’s capital. When we buy land we are investing in a very stable asset, wine and cork are products that will always be in demand. We invest in low volatility and predictable outcomes because we know our investors and we are aware that this is an immigration play for many of our investors.

Gaia Investment Fund has already identified several target investments. Could you please tell us more about these opportunities and why they were chosen versus other sites?

There is a big barrier of entry regarding the assets we are buying. In Portugal, you need a Vineyard License to be able to produce wine and the government is not issuing new licenses. Cork trees need 50 years to start producing cork stoppers. The opportunity lies in knowing the market, knowing what are the best regions of Portugal to invest in, and getting the best entry points. 

Our team has decades of experience investing, managing, and producing wine and cork. We have an already established distribution network, client base and because we are building an important portfolio we will benefit greatly from economies of scale.

Our targets have been identified based on: 

  • Region of Portugal
  • Entry point
  • Scalability – room to grow
  • Low irrigation needs 
  • Possibility of producing organic and handcrafted products
The Golden Visa rules state that a qualifying investment must be held for just five years but your fund lifetime runs for longer. Could you please explain Gaia Investment Fund’s lifetime including the launch date and subscription period?

Due to the bureaucracy involving the process when it comes to submitting the application and again at the end of the process, and because we will keep the fund running until all our investors are granted a passport, we felt the need to increase the lifetime of the fund beyond five years.

On average, how long does it take to onboard an investor into your Gaia Investment Fund and what are the main obstacles in the onboarding process?

Usually between 4-6 weeks. We have great relations with the best immigration lawyers so if our clients wish to speed-up the process it would be a pleasure to reference them. The main obstacles occur when clients aren’t familiarized with the Portuguese bureaucracy or aren’t properly advised.

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Contact Artur Gama from Gaia Investment Fund now

Min investment: €150,000 · Lifetime: 8 years · US Citizens: OK! 👍🏽· Subscription deadline: September 2023 🗓️
In general, some investors are cautious because of the lock-in periods associated with Golden Visa funds. How do you plan to deal with investors who wish to exit the Gaia Investment Fund before its full lifetime?

Investors are free to sell their participation in the fund in the event that they decide to give up on their Golden Visa process.

Our fund has an application deadline happening in 2023 – Beyond that date, if a new investor wants to join his only option is to buy someone else’s participation, so there is definitely a secondary market. Also, the fund may be interested in buying participation units back in those cases.

Due to Gaia Investment Fund’s chosen investment sector, it’s natural that Golden Visa investors will be curious to know more about it. In your opinion, why would somebody choose Gaia Investment Fund over other Golden Visa funds in the market?

We believe the opportunity lies in investing in land, nature, sustainability, organic and handcrafted products. Portuguese farmland has been steadily increasing but we can firmly say that it is still sitting where real estate was 5 years ago. Real estate is reaching the peak while farmland is still at the beginning of the hype cycle.

Investing in vineyards is certainly a romantic idea for many. Will those who participate in Gaia Investment Fund be able to enjoy the experience up close?

Definitely! All our investors are invited to stay in one of our Vineyards for the 7 days per year they are requested to be in Portugal. Will also have access to premium selected bottles of wine. And if interested will be able to join and learn the process of making great handcrafted wine and cork.

Many of those considering the Golden Visa are currently comparing funds vs real estate. What advice can you offer to help investors make the right decision for them?

Funds offer investors a more hands-off approach. Apart from that, funds are also extremely regulated, managed and advised by independent entities.

Investing in real estate can be much more time consuming, and unless investors really know what they are doing it can be a lot riskier. Also in terms of taxes and fees – funds offer investors a better deal.

For people who are unfamiliar with investing in funds and may even be nervous about learning, what advice would you like to give them?

The best advice is to get a good lawyer. The Golden Visa process is easy but getting legal advice will save investors time and money. All funds have been approved and are regulated by the EU standardized supervisor (CMVM).

What is your outlook for Portugal from both an investment and lifestyle perspective over the coming years?

Investing in Land in Portugal is still a fantastic decision. Vineyard acquisition cost per hectare is significantly lower than in other key markets (ie. Spain, Italy or France) and Portugal’s wine industry has evolved into becoming a world leader.

We are now top 10 in the world’s biggest exporters, number 4 in the world in export value per unit and number 1 in the world in terms of wine consumption per capita – which helps explain why Portugal is such a great place to live!

Is there anything else you would like to share with potential investors?

We would be very pleased to have you and your family joining us on the sustainable path to the Golden Visa.

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Sounds good! I'd like to get in touch now!

Min investment: €150,000 · Lifetime: 8 years · US Citizens: OK! 👍🏽· Subscription deadline: September 2023 🗓️