Just in time to have completely missed the melee that was Art Basel–which lost a lot of class this year when Pamela Anderson showed up in her underwear (What happened to the sophisticated affairs? What happened to the intriguing conversations with international cognoscenti? What happened to the art? Oh, right, a recession)–the Forbes Collector’s Guide 2008 finally crossed our radar. Perhaps last week we spent too much time indulging in the free bubbly at the unending parade of soirees that accompany the art fair, and perhaps that time would have been better spent updating our readers on Forbes picks for the hautest artists and art genres, meaning those whose works make a sound investment. Too late. But hopefully you didn’t pick up any duds at this year’s fair. And if you stuck to the following Forbes-recommended choices, you can rest easy:
1) Andy Warhol. “He averages 10.3 percentage points a year better than the Index,” Forbes writes.
2) Old Masters and 19th Century works both fare very well, generally giving sound ROI, generally over 10 percent.
3) Impressionist or modern art gives a ROI a little under 10 percent.
4) Latin American also provides some returns.
Forbes also lets collectors know what to avoid. “The weakest category was American, with an initial loss of over 10% at mid-year and a current substantial loss of over 30%. Post War and Contemporary–hottest for the last 25 years–produced a lightly negative return for the first half of 2008 that has since become a loss of over 10%.”