Here’s Why Millennials Are Investing in Art

Millennials are looking at art as an investment, a new survey said.
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Millennials are looking at art as an investment, a new survey said. Some 55 percent of millennials collected art for its aesthetic appeal, compared to 85 percent of baby boomers, according to a Monday report from U.S. Trust. 'The relationship the collectors have with their art is changing,' said Evan Beard, the national art services executive at U.S. Trust. 'Older generations would collect and buy art , but they were rarely sellers.' He said older investors buy art for its aesthetic appeal.  'A new generation (Gen X and millennials) are far more commercially driven with their art, much more willing to sell their art as they are collecting and they are savvy in using their art as collateral for loans,' Beard added. Plus, just 27 percent of millennials said investing in art is 'risky,' compared to 46 percent of baby boomers.
'Art can be used as a capital asset,' Baird said, referring to the generational shift he has noticed among clients.
For those looking to invest in art, Beard advises buying what you love. 'The art market is hundreds and hundreds of sub-markets with their own interesting dynamics and the economic drivers of price in the art market are much different from stocks and bonds,' he said. Beard said investors should invest in art because they're interested in a particular piece - not because they're hoping to turn a profit. The art market is buzzing as of late amid the busy spring auction season. Art can also be used as a barometer for broader economic trends. Beard said there was a pullback in overall art sales at the spring auction season amid falling oil prices, worries about a global recession and choppiness in the markets. In New York, art auction sales stood at $1 billion, compared to $2.6 billion during the spring season last year, according to various reports. TheStreet's Scott Gamm reports from Wall Street.