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Wine, art, stamps and coins are all ways that popular hobbies can be turned into smart investments with a little help from the experts.

Text by Rebecca Lo

Art: Worth a Thousand Words

For Jon Reade, managing director of Art Futures Group, the type of people who tend to invest in an art portfolio would be those interested in its cultural side. “It’s someone who wants to try something different; who already has investments in property, equity and bonds,” he says. “The average portfolio that we manage is HK$2 to HK$3 million, with average pieces of art around HK$200,000 to HK$400,000 by classic, mid career artists, and investors hold the pieces for five to seven years. Last year, we saw double digit growth, averaging between 10 to 15 percent.”

Art Futures Group specialises in mid career, contemporary Chinese artists and its clients are individuals primarily based in Hong Kong. “The Chinese art market is the largest and fastest growing in the world. Artists are moving away from political works and the market is much more established now. We are seeing Chinese artists breaking auction records overseas. We track about 650 artists in mainland China and source from about 40 artists. About 30 percent of our clients lease out their art to local corporations, with a six percent guaranteed return.”

“Art is outperforming mainstream investments such as properties; it is now comparable to diamonds. I would recommend art being about 10 to 15 percent of an investment portfolio.”

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