Works of art: an ultra-profitable term investment for large estates

Much less sensitive to economic crises than the stock market or real estate, works of art have become a real safe haven over the past twenty years. Today there are some 75 million collectors of works of art from worldwide, five times more than at the end of the 1990s. It must be said that the advantages of so-called “artistic” objects, whether paintings, drawings, engravings or sculptures, are numerous: 6 to 7% return per year over the long term (that is to say over a horizon of ten to fifteen years), or even more if you have a good nose, and a taxation reduced on resale. Without forgetting a cultural dimension that flatters the majority of buyers.

But unless you are a very enlightened amateur, do not rely on your taste alone to decide. Get help from professional merchants who know the sector perfectly and know how to assess the prospects for earnings. Or, if you really have a lot of money to invest, go through a specialized fund.


Count 15% more costs if you go through public auction rooms. The simplest mode of acquisition is over-the-counter: you then do business with individuals or – it is more prudent – ​​professionals (antique dealers, gallery owners, etc.), who are obliged to record the nature of the object and the identity of the seller. Another formula, public auction rooms. The objects, which must be cataloged and visible during the sale, are awarded to the highest bidder, unless the reserve price (minimum set by the seller) is not reached. Count 15 to 20% more fees.

It should be noted that auctions are increasingly carried out online, thanks to devices installed in theaters or specialized sites (,,,,,, etc. ), a phenomenon accelerated by the health crisis: the global volume of online transactions exceeded 5 billion euros in 2021!


NFTs boost the contemporary art market

Investment Funds

Outstanding performance, but the entry ticket is very high. It cannot be said that art investment funds are within everyone's reach: the minimum stake is 125,000 euros at Sgam AI Art Fund, it rises to 500,000 euros at Art Collection Fund… Too bad, because the returns are up to it: over 10 to 15 years, they vary between 9 and 11% per year.

Each fund diversifies its assets in its own way, always favoring modern and contemporary art (it is much more likely to be valued than classic works whose prices have often already crossed the threshold of 3 or 4 million euros. ). There remains one drawback: the frustration of not being able to personally enjoy the paintings…


Here is what is the point of buying NFTs

Target profitability

You can double the bet by keeping the work for a dozen years. This type of investment is not profitable in the short term. But by keeping your property for twelve years (duration recommended by most experts), you can obtain a resale capital gain of 80 to 150% (up to 7% annual return), or even 200 or 300% by going by an investment fund (provided you have the means, and with the inconvenience of never being able to benefit from the works). Evidenced by the price of works of art that have changed hands since the beginning of 2010, which, despite the air pocket of 2015, has doubled.

Entry ticket

The art market is only buoyant from an investment of 20,000 euros. However, such returns are only achievable from a bet of 20,000 euros. We then access the international market where major art dealers operate, such as Sotheby's or Christie's. It is also advisable to buy an artist who is already listed, one of whose works has been put up for auction, and who thus appears in a sales catalogue. Conversely, barring a miracle, the painting of a stranger paid for 1,500 euros will never yield anything.

The different modes of taxation of works of art, from acquisition to transmission


(1) The tax relates to the margin made by the professional, in other words the difference between the sale price and the purchase price. (2) 19% tax and 17.2% social security contributions.

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