WHERE DOES ONE GO TODAY?
The world’s future is as uncertain today as it was at any time over the last seventy years. Uncertainty about the economy, uncertainty about the planet itself and general uncertainty about banks and the credibility of the system and its viability in the long run.
Thus metals are trading higher and perhaps art should be trading higher soon enough. I do follow prices at random and the results are not bad at all. To say they are encouraging, I am not sure nor convinced simply for one reason. To invest in art at auction and then sell at auction, one has to estimate about 40% expenses on buy and sell. That is a serious sum of money to expect to make even after ten years.
Putting aside the issue of auction commissions, let us move into the art that perhaps encourages one to part with a good sum of money and invests in art.
a. Which kind of art?
b. Which country?
c. Which artists and why?
By the time one analyses all the possibles and works out which market is the most promising, one becomes an investment guru. Thus, I revert to something I used myself as a first step to investing in art and perhaps the one rule that is the most important.
Buy what you like and can live with. Should the item or items appreciate in value, great. If they do not, at least you have enjoyed them being around the house and in your life.
Experience is a great teacher and thus here is how I saw things myself, once I became a good investor in art. Greek art was booming in 2004-2008 but I could see the bubble. I sold a lot of Greek art in 2004-06 and with whatever money I collected I paid up loans and looked for art of other regions and people. Thus, Indian art was one area, South East Asian art was another.
Mai Thu Trung
My plan was to sell in about ten years time but I broke the rules and promises I knew were the most rewarding and sold the Vietnamese paintings by Mai Thu making just about 40% profit after expenses after five years. Had I waited for another two three years the returns would have been at least 100%.
So, which is the promising art of today. Naturally Contemporary Art but…
Which country and which area is the question.
At this moment and time apart from south East Asia, I recommend Eastern Europe with Czech Republic and Hungary as the top countries to look into. The Russian market is off the boil now but still high enough, so waiting is a prudent game.
Finally, Greece is in financial meltdown at the moment and the prices of its art are at the level of early 1990s. The bargain hunters must have that in mind but NO early returns there for at least a decade if not longer. Buying at 300-500% less now any Greek art must be a good thing as things stand at the moment.
Rule one and only one:
Buy what you like and you can afford!!