Why Invest in Art ?

Posted in: Art | (Français) le29 July 2011

When we talk about investing, we always think of stocks, bonds and shares. Why not add a piece of artwork to your investment portfolio.


Even if you don’t have an investment portfolio, but simply an empty office wall, you might still consider buying a piece of art.


While you can frame your stock certificate and hang it on your wall, it will not have the same effect as hanging a beautiful painting. A carefully chosen piece of art will not only add value and beauty to your wall, but will also grow in value. Take for example Mark Rothko’s painting which sold for $3000 in the 1950s and went on to fetch US $72.8 million in 2007 at an auction.


Art has been known to give a better return on investment than many recognizable investment vehicles. Moreover, the August 2011 market crash reminds us of the volatility of stock markets and the importance of diversifying our investment portfolios.


From 1997 to 2002, the WPL Composite Canadian Art Index, which monitors segments of the art market, showed an average annual compound return on investment of 28.9 per cent. From 1992 to 2002, it was 18.9 per cent. A similar index of Quebec abstract artists showed average returns over the same periods of 38.1 and 39.4 per cent, respectively, while other WPL art indices posted similarly healthy gains.


Not all paintings will appreciate exponentially with time. You have to be selective and make wise choices. According to Nathalie Ribkoff, Curator of Art for TD Bank, you have to spend the necessary time getting to know the artist and their particular work. Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice President at TD Waterhouse says that the trick is to identify young, talented artists before they become famous.


My advice, whether you’re looking to invest or add value to your assets, there should always be an element of personal satisfaction and pleasure in buying a piece of art.

Add a comment

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