Hey Investor: Sotheby’s Is Going Once…Going Twice…
If you happen to be one of the few who subscribes to the “trickle down” school of economics, things aren’t looking good. Some well-heeled investors, tired of the volatility of stocks and bonds and the shrinking value of the greenback, have turned to hard assets, like art, to protect their assets.
The upper crust don’t necessarily collect art, so much as invest in it. Many even consider art to be another hard asset class like stocks, bonds, commodities, or precious metals. They may be onto something.
The Mei Moses All Art index, a leading indicator of art returns based mainly on paintings sold in New York and London, climbed 22% in 2010 and 10.2% in 2011, seriously outpacing the S&P 500’s total return. (Source: “S&P 500 Total Return,” YCharts, last accessed January 7, 2013.)
In spite of the global recession, 2012 looks like it was another banner year for art auction sales, with three of the major houses—Christie’s, Sotheby’s (NYSE/BID), and Phillips de Pury’s—beating previous records.