How To Invest In Art Without Spending A Fortune

I really just started buying art as a passion. I never considered it an investment, but it ended up being a good investment.
— Daniel S. Loeb

The above quote by the founder of a multi-billion management firm based in New York speaks volume of the fact that how buying art holds immense potential to make good fortunes. After all, who can forget the stunning and inspiring tale of a woman named Teri Horton who accidentally buys a painting from a local gallery of Toronto with 5 dollars and later on realized that she has landed up herself with an artwork of a renowned American Abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock! Yes, the value of that painting is now accessed at 50 million dollars, surely more than enough to change Teri Horton’s fortune forever. The key to the door of success is thus deciphering which artist to invest in as if an investment is done in an artwork by the right artist; there is never a possibility of getting disappointed about the returns. 

Globally, there is more artwork available then ever and it is at our disposal at a click of a button.  Buying art as investment is no rocket science and just demands a lot of patience and a keen eye for authentic art work while keeping some major points in your mind. 

Seasoned collectors know how and where to buy art and use their connections within the art market. However, newcomers with limited budget and knowledge of the art market are often not sure where to start. 

Here is how everybody can invest in art without spending a fortune:

1. Abstract Paintings, Figurative Paintings, Prints, Photos, Sculptures - Art has many faces. To delve deeper into the subject matter, especially at the beginning, we recommended to keep your focus on one area.

2. Regardless of which type of art you like, educate yourself; read art magazines and art-books, go to exhibitions, museums and galleries and talk to other art enthusiasts. 

3. Don't be afraid of Auction houses. Even though we read a lot about million dollar sales at auctions, it is still possible to get a bargain. It pays to study catalogs and to go to the viewing days. If you found a piece you like, it is also possible to submit an offer in writing, or online.

4. Go to post-auction sales, they begin immediately after an auction.Many pieces do not reach their reserve. This happens when the lowest minimum price the vendor was willing to accept was not met. This means the artwork is listed as unsold, but is still for sale at post-aution sales. At after auctions, reserves are disclosed, you tell them your maximum price and if your offer is accepted you will get your desired piece without  other competitors bidding for it.

5. Don't focus only on the big players such as Jeff Koons or Andy Warhol, the good pieces of theses artists are long gone.

6. Go to Degree shows, this is where you will meet the stars of tomorrow.

7. Get to know the artist. Good meeting points are gallery openings or open studio days.

                        James Devlin, Waiting for a future memory

                       James Devlin, Waiting for a future memory

8. Buy new art by young artists. This can be risky as vast major of these artists never really makes it.-  But Many Will and the cost of buying art from a young artists is also considerably less.

9. If you really like a piece but it seems too expensive, compare the price to the money you spent on other household items such a sofa or chairs, or items such a watch or handbag. In addition, keep in mind that in comparison to a sofa or a handbag, the piece of artwork is an original, unique piece which will last forever and increase in value. Still seems too expensive?

10. If you set your eyes on a piece which is over your budget, don't be afraid to ask to pay in installments.

11. Go to Art Fairs. At Art Fairs you will find different types of Galleries offering artworks which suit every type of wallet. There is always a huge offer, which makes it also a good place to train your eye and find out what you like.

12. Don't miss out on satellite art fairs, these are smaller art fairs which run parallel to the big art fairs such as Frieze. There you will find new galleries showing the freshest talent.

13. If you are interested in who is hot at the moment  or who will be the stars of tomorrow then keep an eye on art competitions such as Thread and needle Prize or National Open Art.

14. If you have decided to purchases an artwork make sure to obtain a certificate of authenticity.

15. Buy giclée  prints if you like them but not for investment purpose. A giclée is a reproduction of what is printed or painted on a paper or on a canvas. When buying prints find out how they were made, the more you know the better. Are there other print editions of this image?These factors in combination with price and quality of the piece establish the value of a limited edition print.

16. With buying limited edition prints or photos, keep an eye on the edition number, artist's signature or stamp. The price depends on how many pieces of this particular series are still available. You might find that with a series which has almost sold out, that the lasts prints remaining are often twice as much as the first.

17. Try to diversify your investment by choosing different artists and style.  A  drop in the artwork done by an artist can cause to devalue the artwork of a related artist. So, for diversification, it is essential to stay knowledgeable with all the art market developments. 


18. Your standard house insurance might not cover your art purchase. There a special companies such as AXA or Hiscox which offer valuation, insurance and transportation of art.

19. Ask professionals of their opinion and use their experience to your advantage.

20. Buy the best you can afford.  Value is found not only in the artist, but in the quality of a given work. 

21. Buy what you love.

Study the art market  visiting galleries, art fairs and museums and keep in mind that those million dollar Warhols were just a few hundred dollars  once. We  highly recommend that you buy what you love, be patience and one day ( if you still want to) you will be able to sell it for a profit.