Fine art and collectibles are a form of alternative investment which have grown in popularity over recent years, as investors have looked to gain portfolio diversification via tangible, or 'real' assets.
The potential benefits of this asset class can be significant, both in terms of profit and their ability to provide a hedge against inflation and currency devaluations. However, there are also a number of riskier characteristics associated with investments in fine art and collectibles, from illiquidity, to lack of regulation and transaction costs. As a result, this asset class has typically appealed most to passion investors, or those with a specific interest in a particular asset, rather than the general investor.
Financial institutions have noted the growing interest in arts and collectibles over recent years and this has led to the emergence of several new types of collective investment vehicles dedicated to art, or other collectible assets. It has also led to the development of various art advisory services among financial institutions and small financial boutiques, ranging from art research and art transactions, to art management and art lending.
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