Now, another part of SWAG: art. Fine art is pretty self-explanatory, including everything from paintings to sculptures to photography.
For the 10 years ending in July 2010, the price index of all fine artwork sold more than once worldwide produced an annualized return of nearly 11%. It’s almost no wonder, then, that Sotheby’s — a 285-year-old auction company — recently had a record fine art auction.
The headline piece? A $75 million Mark Rothko painting.
Of course, such a performance also sheds light on the reality of fine art investing: It’s quite expensive to get into. Most of us don’t have $75 million, much less $75,000, to shell out for a painting.
Plus, fine art is an extremely volatile asset, and it’s hard to forecast demand for certain artists, genres and styles down the road. On top of that, art is far less liquid than most assets. If you need cash, you can’t expect to find a bidder for your Salvador Dali canvas right off the bat.