In 1964, a performance-artist named Dorothy Podber walked into Andy Warhol’s studio.
Dorothy saw four paintings leaning against the wall in a stack. Each one was 40-by-40 inches. Here’s what they looked like:
Podber asked Warhol if she could shoot them. Assuming she wanted to photograph the paintings, Warhol agreed. But Podber pulled on a pair of black gloves, removed a revolver from her purse, and fired a single shot into the stack of paintings.
This didn’t make Podber popular. In fact, Warhol banned her from his studio.
But it sure made the four paintings popular. These were Warhol’s Marilyn paintings. They soon became known as The Shot Marilyns — and even today, their value continues to soar:
- In 1967, Blue Shot Marilyn was purchased for $5,000.
- In 1989, Red Shot Marilyn was bought for $4.1 million.
- In 1989, Orange Shot Marilyn was acquired for $17.3 million. In 2017, that same painting traded hands for around $200 million — for a gain of 1,156%.
On May 9th, Blue Shot Marilyn is set to be auctioned at Christie’s. It’s predicted to sell for up to $500 million. That would make it the most expensive 20th-century artwork ever to sell at auction.
I don’t expect you’re in the market for a $500-million painting…
But today, I’ll show you how to dip your toe into the market-beating returns of art — even if you’re starting with just a few hundred bucks.
The Greatest Store of Wealth
In volatile markets like we’re experiencing today, the wealthy have always found ways to protect and grow their wealth.
For example, they invest in luxury apartments in New York or London, or in bars of gold.
But recently, they’ve been turning to something new: art.
The CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, calls art “one of the greatest stores of international wealth.”
BlackRock has about $10 trillion in assets under management. So when its CEO makes a claim, it might pay to listen!
Three Reasons the Wealthy Invest in Art
There are many reasons that art can be such a powerful investment.
For starters, it provides diversification. So even if the stock market is crashing, art can keep growing in value.
Furthermore, art offers a hedge against inflation. In inflationary times like we’re in today, that’s a valuable trick.
But perhaps most important of all, art can provide market-beating returns.
For example, since 1995, one popular art index has outperformed the broad-based S&P 500 by nearly 3x.
Perhaps these benefits help explain why, according to the Knight Frank Global Wealth Report, 37% of individuals worth at least $30 million collect or own fine art.
But now, art isn’t just for the super-wealthy anymore…
Today, I’d like to introduce you to a soon-to-be-launched investment platform called Freeport.
Freeport offers a straightforward way for ordinary investors like us to get exposure to fine art.
For each piece of art it offers, Freeport creates a business entity that holds the art as its sole asset. Shares are then issued in that entity, enabling you to gain exposure to extraordinary (and extraordinarily expensive) pieces without needing to purchase the entire asset yourself.
The art will be kept in a secure vault on the East Coast of the U.S. In the future, the company plans to allow viewing of the art — by you, and perhaps by the public.
Freeport intends that investors like you will soon be able to sell your shares on a secondary market, or you can hold your shares until the physical art has been resold — hopefully at a big profit.
Freeport’s First Offerings
Freeport’s first offerings will be a series of Andy Warhol prints.
These include “Mick Jagger” (1975), “Double Mickey” (1981), and — yes — “Marilyn” (1967).
Each piece of art is limited to 1,000 investors.
The Freeport platform is launching soon.
Invest Like the Rich
Keep in mind, all the typical caveats about investing apply here:
For example, don’t invest more than you can afford to lose; invest in what you know; and be sure to dip your toe into the water before diving in.
Furthermore, since Freeport doesn’t have a secondary market yet, its art won’t be “liquid.” That means it can’t necessarily be converted into cash at the snap of your fingers.
So don’t invest your rent or grocery money here.
But if you’re looking to invest like the rich, art can be a great place to start!
Please note: Crowdability has no relationship with any of the startups or investment platforms we write about. We’re an independent provider of education and research on startups and alternative investments.