Can You Invest In Art With Less Than $1,000?

invest in art
Mark Bradford, The Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, 2011

Yes, you can invest in art with less than $1,000! In fact, this is how I started. I am naturally cautious, so I prefer to ease into new investments. While I started small, I have since expanded my collection enough for it now to be valued in the tens of thousands.

Numerous opportunities exist to invest in art under the $1,000, $500, and even $200 threshold. These will likely be editions. As noted in what to look for in an art print, the ideal edition will include a signature, an edition size and an edition number. But, when you venture into editions under $500, you may have to compromise and invest in an artwork without an artist’s signature or specific edition number. Hopefully, you will stay away from editions of unknown size.

Side note: I always need to reiterate that you should be careful when purchasing art prints and factor in the cost of framing them before committing to the investment.

Starting small

After you get comfortable with art investing, and understand your goals and how to achieve them, you can start to build out your collection at a pace that suits your needs. You don’t have to invest in art at any prescribed pace or to any prescribed degree. Each investor has their own risk tolerance and goals.

Staying small

Not all those that want to invest in art want to own a collection that rivals the Louvre. Simply investing in one or two artworks is enough for you to be ‘invested’ in art. 

Typical advice suggests that you may want to expose yourself to a decent chunk of an asset class to reap a more worthwhile reward if the value of your collection turns to the upside. However, if you carefully select the work you invest in, you can reap significant returns with just a couple of purchases. Take artworks catalogued by Masterworks as an example. Several of the artworks catalogued have grown exponentially in value over quite a short time frame:

  • Yayoi Kusama: Purchased for $2,472. Sold for $26,528 nine years later
  • Sam Francis: Purchased for $6,250. Sold for $25,000 four years later
  • Kaws: Purchased for $10,700. Sold for $125,000 eight years later
  • Andy Warhol: Purchased for $21,850. Sold for $370,743 10 years later

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