Useful Pointers - What Is Considered Better, A Roller Coaster Or Maybe Fine Art Investment?

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Do you enjoy roller coasters? Many of us enjoy the buzz involved and never quite seem to "grow up" as we continue to relish that summertime visit to an amusement park, just for kicks. Doing an inverted loop and screaming with your buddies is one challenge, but it is not the sort of experience that you want to savour on a daily basis while you watch your retirement nest egg become subject to the intense vagaries of the recent markets.

We've scarcely seen such lack of stability as we have been noting recently. We're aware that it has a lot to do with the exploding housing bubble and what we at this point understand to be an unsustainable rise in equity in that time. Whether an investment in the stock market may be beneficial now or otherwise is open to significant discussion, in particular since the political parties whose job it is to try and stabilise a rough economic climate appear to be relatively inept.

If you're not really confident whether or not you ought to be putting quite as much of your hard-earned money and assets into stocks, how many other choices do you have? Many of the best financial advisers propose that you should diversify even during the healthiest of times. Property is customarily a wise idea, but other positions could be regarded also. How about art for example? Have you ever considered whether or not fine art investment might be a significant and possibly profitable portion of your plan for the longer term?

On the surface looking in, if you are not really experienced here, the initial perception would be that fine art can indeed give back some significant profits, especially as we hear from day to day about those amazing selling prices at Sotheby's. Are those specific speculators just fortunate, being at the right place at the right time or is there something to be said for considering fine art as a genuine investment?

We could try taking some inspiration from the work of two professors at the Stern School of business at New York University. Jiangping Mei and Michael Moses put a great deal of time and effort into creating what they subsequently considered to be the Mei Moses Finite Index. They applied particular formulae along with a dedicated strategy to compile and determine exactly how fine art had performed over the long term, to determine what kind of investment was likely.

They focused on the work of experienced artists and basically worked out the difference between the original sales price and the latest selling price at important auction halls in London or NYC. A selection of their effort is indeed eye-opening and in one specific case these folks were in a position to assess that a Turner original painting of the town of Venice produced a solid 6% yearly return in a period of more than a century (from the date of the original sale to its most recent auction release in NY) for about $35 million. Hardly to be sniffed at and in the long run almost certainly a much better return than a few of the even more recognised stocks on the conventional stock market. Maybe you should have another look at those signed limited edition prints you had been considering?


David Tatham, specialist art dealer for more than quarter of a century, has a detailed knowledge of Lowry's biography. Signed, limited editions and originals can be viewed and purchased from the website.

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