Is it better to invest in art or stocks? This is what an experienced professional art consultant suggests

What’s the smartest way to spend $20,000 on art? Is it a bad idea to help a big customer not pay sales tax? How do I get an invitation to a gallery dinner? Each month, our go-to expert Wendy Goldsmith invites you to Ask an Art Advisor to share your most pressing questions about navigating the art market — and she’ll draw on her decades of experience for the answer.

Do you have a question yourself? E-mail [email protected] and it can be answered in a subsequent article.

I have never insured my art collection and now that it has increased in value, I am concerned about safety and concerned that the premiums will be too high. When is the best time to insure your art and should you have it revalued if prices for your artists go up?

If you have the money to buy works of art, you must also have the money for insurance, because not taking out insurance will always be a false economy. While theft is quite rare (and unfortunately usually an inside job), damage is not. Anything can happen from a painting that falls off a wall to an animated guest splashing a glass of champagne on your favorite canvas to a housekeeper polishing a Jeff Koons with a brillopad. Even the smallest damage can significantly reduce the value of a work of art. And that’s after the work has already been shipped to your house, during which time the risk increases exponentially, with even the chance of a total write-off (we’ve all heard the story of the forklift going through a crate in a warehouse). Is that really worth the risk?

But the trick is to conclude the most appropriate policy. As a general rule, if your works are low in price, it’s standard to still include them in a regular home contents policy. But once your collection includes pieces with a higher “single item limit” (which may vary by insurance company), it’s best to look to specialist art insurers for a standalone policy where premiums are a very good percentage for the price. kind of the total they cover. In addition, this policy can be used to pick up artwork while in transit (once they know the details in advance), which is literally a fraction of the cost of what a specialist art shipper would charge. tHi also know exactly which criteria apply to a claim, already understand market nuances because of their specialized knowledgeand if the worst happens, usually make the claim pretty seamlessly.

That said, be sure to read the fine print and stick to your side of the bargain. Important: never under insurance. If you havenot has kept the correct premiums, your insurer may not pay out at all. So yes, indeed, have your collection revalued every year, especially with the ever-faster market swings we’ve been seeing lately. Not getting a good policy is really a false economy because there is no way to know when you are newly purchased Picasso ceramics can fall to the floor, or your toddler decides to add his own finishing touch to your beloved Twombly. be withwithout right insurance, resources in the end you pay anyway.

The painting of Anna Leporskaya Three digits (1932-34), damaged with a ballpoint pen.

I’ve been collecting art on a modest budget for a few years now (my pieces are all under $10,000), but I’ve recently gotten some inheritance money and my resources have expanded significantly. I’m afraid the money will lose value due to inflation, so I want to invest. Should I ramp up my art collection or continue collecting at the level I have been and invest the extra money in the stock market?

do not. to invest. into art. We only see the seductive headlines for just a sampling of the many works of art sold each year without ever hearing of the losses. WHis art-filled houses cannot be moved without the owners cringing in pain. This market for “young” art is a relatively new phenomenon, with results growing exponentially with each sales season and a seemingly endless supply of cannon fodder that everyone wants to get involved in. If I can remember some of their names, I would like to have a conversation about many of these artists in two or three years to see where exactly their values ​​lie.

That said, there’s still a huge amount of talent out there, but the idea of ​​making the right choice of artists and then accessing their top pieces is nil. Nobody has a crystal ball, and neither does your stockbroker. If you just want to invest, stocks also have much lower fees and commissions. You say your resources have expanded significantly, but I’m still not sure exactly how far your revised budget can reach, which will always be a factor in structuring a collection exactly. If you’re still drawn to this world, I’d always buy the best one you can afford from an artist for starters, not just a mediocre canvas with their signature. Right now I would like to introduce one of the greats of the modern era, while everyone else is focused elsewhere. They don’t make those anymore. For fun, you can always add a young artist you really want to live with, into the mix. Just like in the stock market, diversification is the golden rule. There is more than just wet paint.

The restaurant 'Cantina' at Hauser & Wirth Menorca, designed by Luis Laplace.  Thanks to Hauser & Wirth.  Photo: Daniel Schaefer.

The restaurant ‘Cantina’ at Hauser & Wirth Menorca, designed by Luis Laplace. Thanks to Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Daniel Schaefer.

I am new to collecting and have been building a relationship with gallery owners for some time now. There are a few that I think I get along with, but I keep seeing other people posting online of these chic gallery dinners I’ve never been invited to. What do I have to do to be able to sit at the table?

It’s amazing how often this question is asked. So many people want the art and the experiences (and being seen) which is understandable, especially if your fortune was made in a less creative environment. And indeed, thisThese dinners can be great, especially since you’re sitting with like-minded people; collectors, curators, gallery owners, artists, as well as, occasionally, the odd movie star, where some of the most fascinating conversations can be had. the food and wine is usually not bad either! But from the gallery‘s point of viewthese are still corporate events, mostly to thank buyers for their support of the artist whose last exhibition may have just opened that evening, and to keep their artists happy, show their deep support and give them an evening to celebrate their achievements , usually accompanied by thisfrom the artist friends and family. The galleries may like you, and certainly enjoy your company, but someone has to foot the bill.

So to get one of these coveted invites, the first rule of thumb would be to acquire a work from one of the gallery artists you admire most, and even thoroughly buy the artist’s work. Or buy a selection of artists through the gallery’s program, and invites will be pouring in quickly.

But then Hauser & Wirth came along and changed the game, exponentially. They realized a while ago that many collectors have the money to buy any artwork they chose but what they really want are experiences; they want what money can’t buy. So Hauser set out to build a contemporaneous hospitality business, in addition to running (and still running) their 16 museum-quality galleries around the world, including a gem of a hotel in Scotland, their own island in Menorca, an arts center and artist residence in Scotland. Somerset, aas good as Mayfair’s fanciest pub, opening just in time for Frieze. The news on the streets is that new collectors are buying works from their network of galleries just to access a coveted invitation to one of theof dreamy events. It’s win win. Genius.

What Wendy Wants

  • Every ring of Spinelli Kilcollin. Because the simplest designs are so often the best
  • A psychedelic summary of The Savdie Methodwhere color and texture collide.
  • Origins Skincare. The natural line of Estée Lauder where every product is perfect.

Wendy Goldsmith is a former International Director at Christie’s in both New York and London, which is now London’s Goldsmith art advice. You can also find her on Instagram @wendy_goldsmith.

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