“In strictly financial terms, art investing is unattractive. Its risks include attribution errors, fakes, forgeries, thefts and physical damage. Furthermore, it involves high transaction, insurance, maintenance and restoration costs, and it has no current cash flow––money comes only when works are sold. Artworks are heterogenous, illiquid and sold on the subjective, segmented and almost monopolistic market in which no valuation guidelines exist. Investors must perform their own due diligence. But art works, unlike stocks, bonds, real estate and certain funds, provide aesthetic returns as well as financial ones. It is when these aesthetic aspects are combined with the financial behavior of the assets that it gets interesting.” Roman Kraeussl, Professor at VU University Amsterdam, specializing in research on art investment.
From “A Conversation with Roman Kraeussl,” Art + Auction, April 2011, page 48. For more on art as an investment, track down Art + Auction’s April issue, which features the magazine’s annual art investment guide: http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/37392/april-2011-table-of-contents/.