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Art gives you a place to park your money
Pieces by established artists can be a good investment
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True, many of us have seen the stock market dwindle to a fraction of its original value.

And if you have been thinking of making an investment but aren’t sure how much lower the market can go, there is another alternative — art.

Granted, investing in pieces of art isn’t for everyone — both financial experts and art dealers say it’s only suited for people who will genuinely appreciate what they’re putting on the wall. But over time, the value of a piece created by an established artist with lots of gallery shows under his or her belt will hold its value, even appreciating over time.

“I see a lot of wealthy clients invest heavily in art because they cannot buy stocks,” said Steve Slotin, owner of Slotin Auctions in Buford. “And every time they think they’re going to buy a piece of property, there’s no one to rent it.

“But art is one of those very few investments that continues to hold its own as far as prices.”

The value may take a year or several years to significantly go up, but it won’t go down, he said. “And a lot of people are looking to park their money somewhere.”

Matt Heard, financial adviser for The Colvin Group in Gainesville, said the art market is very independent of the stock market. But at the same time, he recommended only buying pieces you truly like — not just because of the artist’s résumé — and doing some homework before making a purchase.

“You gotta know what type of artist you’re getting a portrait from, and know if they’re going to be valued as an artist in the future,” he said. “I’d have to say the chances of someone buying a Picasso 60 to 70 years ago for $100 and it being worth $100,000 now is a rarity.”

That’s the trick — investing in an artist who is well-priced now and who will gain even more credibility in the future.

Slotin suggested looking at an artist’s resume, keeping an eye out for national exhibitions and top-notch gallery shows.

“Typically, people who are investing in art are looking for these artists who have a long track record — museum shows, art galleries, included in exhibitions that have traveled the country,” he said. “Those artists tend to be artists who have passed away or artists who are late in their lives.”

As opposed to the artist who might be just a few years out of school. While their work might show promise, it’s something only time will tell.

But then again, if you like their work, it makes as much sense to buy their piece simply because you’re moved by it. Just make sure you’re not buying the piece to turn around and sell it in a few years.

“Like stocks, art is very similar,” Slotin said. “I would stay in it for the long haul, no matter what. If you day trade art, you’re going to get burned on the daily ups and downs of the art.”

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