Investing in art sounds like something old-fashioned and only reserved for museums, governments and wealthy merchants of the golden age. But art is still a popular investment today. Manners Magazine will talk to art connoisseur, investor and gallery owner Willem Baars.
With rising inflation and falling or even negative interest rates, the popularity of investing is rising. In this section, we discuss with investors and investors who earn their living in the investment world. This article should not be construed as financial advice. Do you want to start investing? Then it is important that you first ask yourself these four questions.
Three forms of physical art
There are roughly three forms of physical art: photography, painting and sculpture. “Photography is a hoax. It’s an invented market. (..) Before digital photography, it was an independent form of art. Since digital photography has come and we all have cameras with us that are better than art photographers used to have, “This has changed. We can all take a shot that is interesting. It has become folk art,” says Willem.
“If you buy an image in a gallery, the chances of you ever getting some of your invested money back are very small. This chance is greater with paintings, “says the gallery owner. There is a lot of money to be made from buying and selling paintings. “I made people into millionaires. (..) I bought works of art for people for 1,500 guilders, the works were later worth 6 million euros,” says Willem, who – even as an expert – does not always see such price increases coming: “Otherwise I would has purchased several works by this artist. “
Successful investment in art
But how can you successfully invest in art? “First and foremost, you have to really like art. The value of art is not based on facts. If you do not know much about art yourself, you need a good adviser, “says Willem. In addition to knowledge, you also need a significant budget if you are investing to achieve a return. “If you want to build a collection, 100,000 euros a year is still on the low side. (..) Art is elitist ”, says Willem.
No absurd returns
Even if there are significant price increases, one should not expect absurd returns, according to the gallery owner. “I recently spoke to a woman who bought an Andy Warhol screen print in 2002 for 2,500 euros. I could give her triple for this 20 years later. If you had invested in stocks or other investments, you would have gotten more returns. Although she could enjoy a beautiful work of art, “says Willem, who adds that investing in art is always long-term.
“If you invest in well-known names and you do it well and wisely, you do not run the big risk. If the market falls, well-known works will fall sharply in value, ”said Willem.
Suppose you have significant capital, do not want to make extreme returns and are willing to invest some of your money in art. Where do you start? You can buy works of art at auction or from galleries. “The market has become relatively accessible due to low-threshold auctions,” says Willem.
Once you have found a work of art that you want to invest in, a danger arises. There is a chance that you are buying a counterfeit work of art. A mistake that real connoisseurs do not make, according to Willem. “A lot of counterfeiting work is offered at small auctions. But good auctions and good dealers do not offer fake work. If you’re already wrong here, stay away in the first place. “
Selling can be difficult
In addition to buying, sales are also very important for any investment. “An old Jewish proverb from Amsterdam says: ‘The easiest thing is to buy a painting, the hardest thing is to sell a painting,'” says Willem.
“Artworks with big names are the easiest to get rid of. If you buy something very specific, it is of course harder to sell,” says Willem. You can offer your artwork at an auction or take it to a gallery.
Prices are very high now
‘Prices are now at an unprecedented level. I think there will be a fix at some point. But the fact that so many more people buy and collect art means that the market will not collapse very quickly, because there are many shoulders that carry the market, ”says Willems.
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“Art from the 60s is now very popular, but it has also become very expensive. We have always overlooked works from the 70s and 80s, but interesting works are now appearing, “says Willem.
Although you should keep the artwork in a safe place where it can not be damaged. Willem thinks it is important that people also enjoy art. “It’s so much more than an investment.”
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