A safe investment in troubled times

In light of all these credit crises and banks on the brink of bankruptcy, where is your money safe? Stuff it in a sock and hide it under a mattress?
I think I've got the solution in just two words: Buy art.
It’s very simple. Invest some of your savings in art. It is a fairly sound investment without too much risk involved. It doesn't lose its value during a financial crisis, even in times of war or supreme inflation. You do however need to know what exactly you are buying, if it turns out you've bought a fake, that's money down the drain. But a quick internet search and some browsing through Art Indexes can give you a fairly good idea what items you might be interested in are going for and have been going for for several years.
Dr Rachel Campbell has done some interesting research on this topic.
Mind you: I am not talking about the top end of the market here. The art market can collapse (remember the Japanese companies buying up impressionist paintings because stocks were falling). If you've got more than half a million euros to spend (-sorry - invest), that would be something to worry about.

I don't know where my little country stands on this issue but some European countries are looking into the possibility if it is at all possible to incorporate works of art into pension trusts.
And if you don't have room in your house, the insurance unaffordable or the conditions to keep it are not up to scratch: Rent it out to a museum. Rent comprising of restoration, climate controlled storage and/or insurance. But always bear in mind that even storage facilities are prone to fire.
If it is a work of national importance, I'm sure public funding of your Shurgardist practice won't be a point of discussion. If it is, you can always sell it with a profit to the museum or state in question. Some mayor art works have been bought by governments to keep the work of art inside the country, rather than see it disappear into a collection on another continent.

So I'm going on a scouting trip next week, an auction house has some viewing days, auction is in two weeks time.
The work from the artist I've got my eye on has been selling for much less than it has been valued for about a decade now. But alas, I can't attend the auction in person, when I need to do the bidding I have a class. So doing it over the phone is out of the question too. I could send off the standard email to the auction house to do the bidding for me, but I'm not sure how honest they would handle my bid. They are a respectable hotel de vente but I am and always will be a sceptic till my dying day.

But nonetheless: Going, going, gone!

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