Art investment funds have fared well in poor economic climates and the art markets in general, managed to outperform the stock market throughout the 2001 recession.
There are an estimated 72 funds in operation in June 2014 when Deloitte and ArtTactic combined to take at look at the performance of these different funds. Out of the 77 funds identified, 55 of these were Chinese funds and the rest were estimated to have a combined value of over $400 million of art assets under management.
Art funds are in general terms, privately offered investment funds which are dedicated to the generation a profitable return by acquiring and disposing of various works of art.
These funds are managed by a professional art investment management or advisory firm who has expertise in this field of investing and they receive a management fee and a portion of any returns delivered by the fund.
Point to consider about the various different art funds is that they offer a great deal of diversity from fund to fund and whilst some might concentrate on contemporary art others may be more focused on on traditional European art for example.
Although the underlying characteristics of art investment funds offer a great deal of diversity you will find that all art funds utilize a similar approach to a certain degree, which is a traditional buy and hold strategy.
Art markets have proved remarkably resilient over time and even if you combine all of the investment-grade art held for a period of around ten years, you still manage to achieve an average compound rate of around 4%.
Some funds and specific markets have performed far better than that and the global art market is still experiencing a boom, with sales in 2014 reaching a record £37 billion.
Here are the top five performing art funds
Anthea – Contemporary Art Investment Fund SICAV FIS
This fund was launched in April 2013 and invests in Post-War and contemporary art works which include sculptures and photographs as well as paintings.
As of September 2014 it held 36 works by 13 artists, and states that 35% of artists they are invested in are emerging talents while the rest are already established names.
The fund has achieved a 23.4% since launch and a 10% return in the first nine months of 2014. The volatility of art investing is highlighted by the fact that the best investment making a 404.3% return, and its worst investment lost 16% of its value
The Fine Art Fund Group
The Fine Art Fund Group claim to produce an average return of 9% before fees are deducted. Their fee structure is a management fee of between 1% and 3% plus a 20% cut of profits made, which are only collected once you have earned at least 6%.
The Fine Art fund is understood to hold assets in excess of $100 million under management and is comprised of four unregulated funds, which are the Chinese Fine Art Fund, The Middle Eastern Fine Art Fund and the Fine Art Fund II.
Artemundi Global Fund
One way of investing in art and enjoying it in your home or office is the Artemundi Global Fund.
This is a private investment fund that offers its investors the opportunity to to display the artwork on a revolving basis, so you could be hanging an old master or some contemporary art on your wall.
Liquid Rarity Exchange
This is an investment vehicle where Rarity Fund advisers purchase assets in the Fine Arts classification which are considered to offer the greatest opportunity for capital appreciation.
Each LRE fund set up is SEC registered and it present an opportunity to invest in rare and one-off pieces of fine art through a publicly-traded investment vehicle.
You might also consider investing directly in art, by identifying the potential stars of tomorrow through the Invest in Art scheme run by Saatchi Art.
The website provides details of their past recommendations as well offering ideas for current investment opportunities, which may or not prove successful in such a volatile type of market.