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Coffee Break: art investment returns basics

Eduard Steimle - 10th June 2019 - 0 comments

How to spot art investment scams? Where to find the best compiled art market insights? Art investment brokers, what do they do? What’s the difference between all these art funds out there? Any innovative art investment startups I should be aware of?

Art investment scams

Run away if:

  1. You receive a cold-call
    Always remember that cold-calling is illegal.
  2. The company is not even registered on Companies House
    Always do your due diligence and check the firm’s details.
  3. It gets personal and/or emotional
    “This is so great that I invested myself on behalf of my twin sons” is not good, not good at all.
  4. You’re told it’s a “safe investment”
    Risks and investments get along like pigs in a blanket, anyone saying otherwise shouldn’t be trusted.
  5. You don’t know/don’t understand the asset
    Always do your homework and feel at ease with what you are dealing with. From bonds and stocks to coins, antiques and stamps every single asset has its own story and its specific set of rules and codes to know and to understand.

Remember: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Art investment news

Knowing what you invest on is essential! That’s your very first step toward taking “good” decisions. It is only by becoming more knowledgeable that you’ll be able to spot scams and dubious “opportunities”. Years ago when we got caught into art investments, we turned ourselves to the big names of the industry reports to satisfy our thirst for knowledge.

Here are some of our favourites: DeloitteArtTactic & Skate’s.

The best art investment magazines

Unfortunately, the niche of art investment driven magazines is very very narrow. But these do the job pretty well and is worth having a look at when you don’t feel like digesting a 150-page-long report!

Private art investor
Recommendation: The “Art Risk” section that covers insurances options and forgery spotting.

Recommendation: Art: A growing asset class

Recommendation: 5 Things to Know about Investing in Art Right Now

Art investment broker

If you are too lazy/busy and wealthy there is an option for you: in between doing everything yourself and relying completely on an art fund, there is a bizarre hybrid creature: the art broker.
An art broker is an expert; he doesn’t sell and most of the time doesn’t buy either. All they do is advising on both sides of the counters. They advise buyers but also auction houses, galleries, and even museums sometimes. They also often place art commercially through designers or architects. In general, these rare birds used to work for a consequent gallery and have developed a singular interest in a specific field or movement together with terrific sales techniques. But, as you can imagine, their time isn’t free of charges which is why you should go back up and read our selection of educative content!

Art investment funds

After understanding what an art fund is, get to know more about the different kinds art funds. Here is an overview of the two main categories:

The Fine art group: The TraditionalThe Fine Art Group: Advise, Finance, Invest.
The Fine Art Group, formally Fine Art Fund, is a market-leading art investment and advisory house, offering an expert…

Here, all you do is selecting which one of the four unregulated funds you want to try. It is said that you will make an average of 9% ROI (before fees). There is also an assumption that the Fine art group holds assets in excess of $100 million under management. Some say that the art advisory team can’t bear the sunlight, but, no one really knows because it’s a traditional mysterious fund that isn’t very into transparency!

The Artemundi Global Fund: The YoungsterHome | Artemundi Global Fund
Artemundi Global Fund (AGF) was originally designed in 2008 by a team of accomplished art collectors that understood…

Artemundi is part of a new generation of art funds that allows investors to enjoy the physical artworks for a very short period of time.

Let’s have a look at some innovative art startups

Articurate’s mission is to involve people within artistic creation processes. The startup consists of crowdfunding platform that finances emerging artists and where profits on sales are shares between investors and artists.


Auctionata’s mission is to allow anyone to attend auctions without living the comfort of your home nor having to put on a bowtie and it’s been breaking art online record sales!


Electric Objects
Electric Objects came up with both a bold concept and a beautiful product: a digital frame connected to thousands of works of art that is controlled by your smartphone.

Electric Objects

Feral Horses
Feral Horses’ comprehensive art investment service allows to easily acquire and sell shares of contemporary artworks on an user-friendly marketplace.
Bonus: When the artworks are rented, the benefits of the rental activity are shared among the owners!

Feral Horses

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