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  • Christophe Spaenjers


The purchase of a work of art in the hope of financial gain. Two fundamental expectations drive the price that a potential buyer is willing to pay for an artwork: the aesthetic or emotional pleasure enjoyed by the owner, and the future change in the financial value of the work. For art investors, financial considerations dominate other motivations for purchase. Two types of art investment can be discerned. First, an individual may buy art in the expectation that art—or some category of art—will deliver favourable financial returns. Second, investors may try to exploit art market ‘inefficiencies’ by buying works at a price below market value with the aim of reselling relatively quickly at a profit. While some historical examples of institutional art investment (e.g. the British Rail Pension Fund, which bought over 2000 artworks to diversify its portfolio) are of the first type, more recent investment structures (e.g. the Fine Art Fund) are closer to the second strategy....

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