You can own a yacht! Yes, you!


Well, sort of. You can at least own a piece of a yacht... or a jet... or a Ferrari... or a mansion... and the list goes on and on. Welcome to the world of "fractional ownership," sometimes called asset-sharing. While people have shared assets since the beginning of time, the modern version is a little more formalized and is targeted toward luxury items.

Fractional ownership is a great way to get a piece of an item you know you'll only use occasionally. A company is in charge of the asset, ensuring that it is cleaned and maintained, and that everyone is abiding by the rules of the contract. There are companies that specialize in fractional ownership of cars, artwork, jewelry, handbags, yachts, vineyards and more. Whatever asset you want a piece of, there's probably a company out there that can help you do it.

On the flip side, some people just don't want to share their mansion with others. They prefer the idea of the exclusive use of an asset. They also may not like the inconvenience of following the rules, which restrict when and where they can use the assets. Overall, fractional ownership is a good bet for those who want access to luxury without maintenance headaches or a huge upfront investment.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.