Oil is now $140+ a barrel. Gas is over $4 a gallon. The Dow is at its 2008 low (and going lower). The Federal Reserve is hand tied. Banks are beginning to flinch under the stress. The bond market is doing nothing. Home values are dropping. Even the unemotional Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post says the economy and its future are looking pretty grim. Ugh!
I was ruminating over these issues today with a buddy today. He asked the question, "So where are we supposed to put our investment dollars?" My first reaction was a shouted "Cash!" But then I thought for a second…
A Monet water lilies painting just set a new record for the artist and sold for $79 million at auction earlier in the week. Other art auction houses are seeing above average sales on high-end art. The world of contemporary art is still rocking along. And, it looks to me as though the more reasonable (i.e. grassroots) art market where work valued at the less than $10,000 level is booming too.
So, if you are as pessimistic about the economy as most people around here are and looking for some place to put your money that is a bit less volatile than the stock market, bond market, real estate market, etc. and not in a sock under your mattress, I recommend buying art. Not only is it proving to be a sound investment, but it is good for the soul, and supports the career of any number of very talented artists.