Like any investment, fine art investing requires a certain amount of due diligence on the part of the investor. A risk and reward analysis is especially important in the art market which can be quite complex and inconsistent. Resources are available to research art sales and trends, and it is advisable to use as many as possible to build your own knowledge base. Unless you are already adept at art investing, it may be best to defer to the expertise of a reputable art consultant for guidance. Keep in mind, of course, that even with the best information in hand, there are no guarantees. Financial gains can be significant, but not easily calculated.
A good first step in becoming a successful art investor, is to learn some basics about the trends and happenings in the highest end of the art market. Reviewing reports generated by the top auction houses, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, will provide the most current information and provide basic awareness and perspective. This New York Times article gives a summary of the art sale statistics for 2016.
Following the auction house reports is advisable if you are serious about fine art investing, but the information is not going to help if your objective is to capitalize on the next rising star. Identifying emerging artists that show promise in their careers is a speculative process. With speculation comes significant risk. Promotions on “artists to watch” are rampant, and marketing strategies are often misleading and confused with sound advice.
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