Investing in art requires a lot of research and knowledge, before making a purchase. There are many tools that art enthusiasts can use, to make a wise investment in art.
With today’s fluctuating global economy, art remains one of the safest investments. This is due to the fact that art retains its value over time and increases in worth, if a proper investment is made. Including art in your investment portfolio is definitely a wise decision, as art pieces retain their value over time and can yield lucrative returns.
How do art investments work?
Just like stocks, bonds and other popular investments, art pieces increase in value over time. Each year, billions of dollars are invested in art, with many auction houses and art galleries dominating this sphere.
Art however, is a long-term investment. Buyers and collectors typically have to wait around 10 years to see the value of their investment increase. More so, the value of an art piece can also increase, when an artist is more world-renowned and their works become more sought after.
Art is a safe investment, as its value does not fluctuate over time. Accordingly, investments in art are recommended to diversify one’s portfolio with risk-free elements.
So how should you invest in art?
The first step when deciding to invest in art, is allocating a budget. By setting aside a sum that you are willing to invest, you can begin to narrow down your options in terms of the kind of art piece that you are interested in, as well as the artist you would like to invest in.
Then, you must browse online and visit galleries. This will help hone your knowledge about the art world and will help you understand the different art styles and backgrounds of artists. The best place to begin your search is online. There are thousands of galleries and auction houses that display their collections online, with descriptions and prices. You should also set out to look for a ‘bargain’.
Of course, it is recommended that you invest in pieces that are valuable or will increase in value over time, but that also have a personal meaning and catch your eye. Do not invest in a piece that you do not particularly like, as it will be around for a while.
Compare prices before making an investment in art. And remember, art is not a liquid asset, and should you wish to sell pieces from your collection, it may take years to do so.
Why should you invest in art?
There are many reasons why you should invest in art:
- You are an art enthusiast: It goes without saying, that to venture into the art world, you need to have a passion for it. You can then choose to turn your appreciation for the art world into a valuable asset.
- You like to research and visit galleries: If you find yourself visiting art galleries and museums every time you travel to a new country, then investing in art is a good move.
- You have a budget to allocate: The return on investment for art pieces will develop over time. Therefore, you should be willing to wait for years, before the value of your piece increases.
Oil on canvas, by Luc Mertens
What to look for when buying art
The art world can be overwhelming when starting your search. Here are steps that you can take to begin the search for the perfect piece:
- Pick an era or time period that you are interested in. Start researching and studying it, to develop your knowledge and understanding.
- Then view the works of artists, under each era or art movement
- Start visiting as many galleries and museums as you can, to find works that move you. Speak to gallery staff to learn more about different pieces and artists.
- Appoint an art expert to help you with your search
- Subscribe to art magazines that cover the movement that you are most interested in, be it fine art, contemporary art, photography or from a certain era
Alfred de Dreux's 'Chevaux' painting
Protecting, preserving and handling your art piece
There are many documents and instructions that you need to have at hand, to protect your art piece and preserve its value over time. The list includes:
- Certificate of authenticity: If you are buying a valuable art piece, over USD 1,000, ask for a certificate of authenticity to protect your piece
- Bill of sale: When buying any art piece, keep a copy with the art piece.
- Biography of artist: Keep the information on the artist up to date that will help you resell the piece.
- Handling instructions: Ensure the gallery provides you with instructions on how to care and preserve your artwork over time