Friday, April 06, 2007

Asset Class Reader: Art

Art as a Financial Investment

by Campbell, Rachel A.J. (March 2007)

The comparatively poor performance of traditional asset classes in recent years has driven the search for greater returns via alternative asset classes. The desire to reap higher risk adjusted returns from diversification into assets which offer low and even negative correlation with equities and bonds is extremely desirable. There has been a huge growth in the traditional alternative investments such as real estate, commodity futures, private equity and hedge fund investments.

Additionally, a number of funds specialising in art have recently emerged. These also appear to offer a highly beneficial diversification strategy with extremely low correlation with traditional asset classes. It is important for investors to understand the risk and return characteristics of this new alternative asset class.

In this paper we take a closer look at art as an alternative asset, and look specifically at how this new alternative asset is expected to perform, also during bear markets, when the benefits of diversification are most needed. We look at the risk and return characteristics of art using art market indices, and the prospects for portfolio diversification in the art market using a variety of data across art market sectors, including the Old Master, European Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art markets. Due to the low correlation of art with other asset classes, we find opportunities for portfolio diversification across art markets and across asset classes. The results hold, even allowing for the high transaction costs, which are encountered when trading art, when spread over a longer time horizon.

Art as an Investment and the Underperformance of Masterpieces

by Mei, Jianping and Moses, Michael (February 2002)

This paper constructs a new data set of repeated sales of artworks and estimates an annual index of art prices for the period 1875-2000. Contrary to earlier studies, we find art outperforms fixed income securities as an investment, though it significantly under-performs stocks in the US. Art is also found to have lower volatility and lower correlation with other assets, making it more attractive for portfolio diversification than discovered in earlier research. There is strong evidence of underperformance of masterpieces, meaning expensive paintings tend to under-perform the art market index. The evidence is mixed on whether the "law of one price" holds in the New York auction market.

Dealers in Art

by Shubik, Martin (September 2001)


A brief narrative and descriptive discussion of the role of private dealers in art together with some suggestive statistics is presented.

How Did Japanese Investments Influence International Art Prices?

by Hiraki, Takato, Ito, Akitoshi, Spieth, Darius Alexander and Takezawa, Naoya (2005)


This study examines dynamics among the art, Japanese land, Japanese and U.S. stock market prices during the sample period from 1976 to 1998. We find that the Japanese land prices caused both art and Japanese stock prices to co-move during the sample period. We interpret this finding as suggesting that the accelerated appreciation of land prices in Japan stimulated Japanese investor demands for both international arts and Japanese stocks, especially, in the late 1980s. We further show that the Japanese land index as well as own art index returns are dominant factors in generating fluctuations of returns in most art indexes. We also find that an influence of the Japanese land prices on art prices was preserved and even increased in the 1990s after the burst of bubbles. We interpret this as suggesting that in the 1990s the decreasing land prices in Japan urged some Japanese investors to sell their holdings of arts at a considerable bargain.

The German Art Market

by Kraeussl, Roman, (May 2007)

This paper discusses various aspects of the German art market, including a brief history of German art throughout the twentieth century and the great influence of World Wars I and II. Different styles and movements, such as Expressionism (e.g. Die Brücke, Der Blaue Reiter), Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) including Dada and Bauhaus and the classification of Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) during the Nazi regime, will be discussed. It also elaborates on German art after World War II, including East Germany's Socialist Realism and West Germany's international influences, the influence of Conceptual Art on contemporary German art and the more recent emergence of German photography and figurative paintings of the Neue Leipziger Schule (New Leipzig School). This paper analyzes the specific characteristics of collecting and dealing as it takes place in Germany. It therefore provides a more detailed account of galleries, auction houses and art fairs, as well as a short overview of museums and exhibitions. Finally, it discusses the position of the German art market in the international market and analyses transactions and sales turnover data. It also evaluates the recent market performance of different styles and individual artists. Finally, this chapter closes with a discussion of whether art might serve as an alternative asset class, with a special focus on the first German art fund.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.