Investing in fine art can be wise financial move as the stock market and dollar falters.
The International Art market continues to be strong as newly wealthy investors from emerging countries enter into collecting fine art.
The prices for superstar artists of other eras, such as van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and Warhol continue to rise, but so do those for artists who are contemporary and appear poised to become superstars or close to it.
Even the wealthiest contemporary collectors enjoy discovering and collecting the work of an emerging artist who is creating in a new and unique way. Whatever the economy, that artist’s collectors will do well over time with their investments.
The international nature of the art market means that good art investments, whether of brilliant emerging artists or well known ones, can be bought and sold using whatever currency is a better value. Currently many artists and dealers who show and trade internationally are insisting on being paid in Euros. Some of these artists are American, while others are Europeans who shy away from receiving a fluctuating and weak dollar.
The Internet and communications technology ensure that art will easily remain a global market. An artist or dealer can reach and show a collector a work now easily via email or through a web site. New collectors can learn a lot about artists and galleries through research on the Internet. There are also special networking sites such as art mesh, art review and Saatchi online where artists and collectors meet, along with Facebook and other social networking sites.
Art fairs that cover the major art centers throughout the world, including New York, London, Berlin, Miami and of course, Basel, bring groups of international buyers and sellers together.
We live in a time of technology and transition. While companies and products that were valuable are becoming obsolete, just as the horse and buggy gave way to the car, former blue chip companies are faltering. Investments that were sure and safe are now doubtful risks.
What has remained constant and grown in value throughout recessions, wars, depressions and boon times is good fine art. While most people who seek to wisely invest for their future cannot afford a van Gogh, there are investment quality fine artworks within most investment price ranges. If a Warhol painting is beyond the budget, consider a Warhol print. His signed, limited edition prints, usually silk-screens, have risen in value right along with his paintings.
Prints and drawings can be an excellent entry point into art collecting for the new art investor. Limited edition prints vary from 3 to under 850. Print editions that run higher than that are probably bad investments, and possibly the work of an artists whose works will not gain in value over time.
Collecting art can also open invaluable social connections as one meets other collectors. Join a local museum, and even one in the nearest big city art center, to meet more people. Art collectors often network with one another beyond art, and many business people have discovered that collecting art can bring unexpected networking rewards.
In tough times art can me more liquid an asset than real estate or other assets. The best true, but bittersweet illustration of this is playing out in the courts over art seized or lost by the Jews fleeing the Nazis. As the survivors and their heirs seek reparation, what has become clear is that those people who had art were usually able to sell it, granted for a ridiculously reduced sum, often using that money to escape to safety. When inflation made savings and investments close to worthless, when real estate was also devalued and attacked or confiscated, what was easily saleable to the dealers of Europe, was fine art.
Of course, fine art can be shown in your home or office, lent to a museum or traveling show (which brings prestige or PR for a company), which other investments, such as stocks cannot offer.
Investing in fine art is a wise move in a global economy that gives the collector the advantage of selling works to collectors in any country to potentially reap the benefits of what ever currency or economy is strong.