You may drool at the idea of owning a Monet, a Stradivarius or even a 1960s Fender Stratocaster, but unless you’re a platinum-card-carrying member of the elite — or the god of garage sales loves you — dream on.
Or investigate a new type of mutual fund that gives you a percentage of a high-end fine arts or collectibles portfolio.
Forbes contributor Kathryn Tully recently conducted a Q&A with representatives of Liquid Rarity Art Exchange, a St. Louis-based company that hopes within a year or so to get investment companies to license its Liquid Rarity Funds. These would sell publicly, as mutual funds or exchange-traded funds or indexes, shares in classic cars, gems, rock-and-roll memorabilia, sports memorabilia, fine art, rare stringed instruments and ancient coins.
Teams of experts would buy and sell the assets for the funds.
“There will be a pool of assets in the fund that will be bought and sold strategically based on market trends, but there is no relationship between when investors in the secondary market sell their shares and when the fund sells it assets,” Susan Carpenter, Liquid Rarity’s vice-president of operations, tells Forbes.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek ran a story on the company earlier this year, noting that “demand for fine art and rare collectibles has been buoyant amid an otherwise iffy economy, with major works selling for eye-popping sums. In May, Sotheby’s set an auction-house record with a $119.9 million bid for Edvard Munch’s The Scream. While art can be a useful hedge against inflation, the asset class has long been inaccessible to the average retail investor, who can only watch the gavel-banging with envy.”
Right. And then cuddle up with an old Beanie Baby collection.
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