Contemporary Art Investment: A Few Tips

Art investment is a risky business. Even "insiders" like auction houses, art traders and experienced collectors make mistakes and sometimes lose money on what they consider to be an 'investment level' art.

On the other hand, returns can be very high, making art investment potentially high, but it is a risky company. You can also purchase contemporary online artwork.

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The center of the art investment market tends to cluster around financial centers such as New York and London and a lot of interest tends to focus on art that meets the 'Goldilocks' principle in the middle: not so old that it is considered an antique, which often raises issues of inheritance, ownership.

On this middle ground, there are a number of factors that can help reduce risk. Artists who have stopped producing are often less risky than those who are still alive for the simple reason that art supplies are well-defined.

Examining the track record at the auction and establishing original sources including things such as exhibition history and proof of ownership by an expert and building selling power (and hence liquidity), all help reduce risk.

However, being in the middle also means that there is a lot of demand, and therefore prices can already be high which reduces the potential for future returns.

In view of this, a number of galleries have another approach to investment art, namely targeting areas of established and developing contemporary artists that have not been stepped on well that do not yet have a track record at large auction houses.

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