Masterworks: How To Invest in Fine Art

Side view of a happy senior woman smiling while drawing as a recreational activity or therapy outdoors together with the group of retired women.
Horsche / Getty Images/iStockphoto

When you think of fine art, names like Leonardo DaVinci and Vincent Van Gogh probably come to mind. For the average investor, works of art by famous creators may seem out of reach. However, with the introduction of Masterworks, you can invest in fine art pieces without spending millions of dollars.

What Is Masterworks?

Masterworks is an online platform that allows users to invest in fine art pieces by purchasing shares. The company calls these investments “blue-chip” art. You can buy, sell and trade shares just like you would with a corporation. Instead of your shares being tied to a business, your shares are tied to art pieces.

A Brief History of Masterworks

Scott Lynn founded Masterworks in 2017 and still serves as the CEO. He took a personal interest in fine art and saw success in his investments. In fact, over 25 years, contemporary art investments performed better than the S&P 500 average. He wanted to find a way for other investors to have ownership in fine arts collections no matter their investing budget.

The Appeal of Fine Arts Investing

Technology and creativity are two niche markets that drive change in society. Fine art pieces are intriguing to investors because art shows a stable investment option history. With the introduction of Masterworks, you can invest in fine art pieces without spending millions of dollars.

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Is Masterworks a Smart Investment?

History shows that after severe crashes in our markets and economy, a renaissance follows. The COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on the world economy and halted many business operations. This included museum purchases and art auctions. Many artists increased online promotions to sell their art].

Experts anticipate the art world to boom as the economy recovers. Over the next decade, fine arts investing may prove lucrative for the right investors. When investors see fine art online, they may discover an interest they never knew they had.

Do Art Investments Great Returns?

Investing is no longer limited to businesses on the stock market. Investors can now diversify their portfolios with fine art through Masterworks. With an anticipated boom in the fine art market, now may be a great time to invest.

Masterworks FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Masterworks.
  • What is the minimum investment with Masterworks?
    • Shares come in $20 increments for any piece of art. The minimum investment is $500.
  • Can anyone invest using Masterworks?
    • Almost anyone can invest in Masterworks. You do have to request an invitation for membership on the Masterworks website before joining to invest in fine art through the platform.
  • What are Masterwork's fees?
    • Masterworks charges a fee of 1.5% per year on any earnings. They also collect 20% of profits in the future.
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Information is accurate as of May 11, 2022.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Katy Hebebrand is a freelance writer with eight years of experience in the financial industry. She earned her BA from the University of West Florida and her MA from Full Sail University. Since beginning to work full-time as a freelance writer three years ago, she has written on topics spanning many fields, including home building, families and parenting, legal and professional/corporate communications.
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