ART SPECULATING An art speculator is someone who buys art that he recognizes as being far more valuable than the price at which it is being offered for sale, or that it is expected to fetch, if the sale is an auction. The art speculator has an ancestor which used to be called “a picker”.  Pickers’ old-fashioned routine consisted in having routes and visiting weekly hundreds of places where something of value might be for sale for very little: antique shops, antique malls, thrift shops, Salvation Army stores, estate sales, auction sales rooms.  It was inefficient and did not easily allow performing research to get crucial information.  A lot of guessing had to be done on the spot.  Most of the old timers who operated this way drove beaten up vans and died poor. Today’s art speculator looks for unrecognized quality; works offered as artist unknown;  wrong dating of anonymous works; originals described as copies; originals listed as “after” pieces; originals listed as by followers

Investing In Art

  INVESTING IN ART Nearly everything we buy loses value, decreases in value.  Even things that have the reputation of increasing in value such as real estate are subject to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, fires, industrial pollution, jobs disappearing, the neighborhood going down the drain, or people no longer needing to go to an office.  The same is true of stocks and the quantity of companies that unpredictably go out of business, for a zillion reasons.   Art is perhaps one of these few categories of things that by and large tend to go up in value rather than down.  Perhaps art is more sheltered from dangers and uncertainties than stocks or even real estate.  Maybe not so many things hurt and reduce the value of art, although some do.  Perhaps what makes art valuable in the first place, is mostly insensitive to the passing of time and impervious to the changing of everything else. This is why some people make it a hobby to invest in art.  There are also investors who mak