RICS art and Antiques report shows validity of alternative investments

A new survey showing art and antique prices rising has prompted Alternative Asset Analysis (AAA) to promote the asset class as a viable option to investors.

The UK-based Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Art and Antiques survey found a 26 per cent increase in the number of chartered surveyors who reported a rise in the value of collectibles, including art, antiques, wine and coins.

Some 62 per cent of the surveyors questioned also reported an increase in the numbers attending auctions where these items are sold. These figures indicate a very healthy market for collectibles, which are becoming increasingly attractive to investors looking to diversify their investment portfolios to protect against risk.

Simon Rubinsohn, the chief economist at RICS, said, “The British art and antiques market is buoyant at the moment; as buyers continue to invest in material assets during uncertain economic times.

“After the recent £300 million worth of art auctions, Britain now commands 29 per cent of the global art trade and is the world second largest art market.”

AAA, which is an alternative investment advocacy group, claims that these figures provide solid evidence of the validity of such assets as an investment strategy during these volatile economic times. The organization’s analysis partner, Anthony Johnson, said, “With the equity markets as they are, there is a growing appetite among investors for alternative asset classes, which are increasingly seen as a safer haven for cash than stocks and shares, which can lose investors thousands over night in the current economic climate.”

AAA advocates the role alternative assets have to play in portfolios, especially during times of uncertainty. The group is particularly interested in promoting ethical investments and schemes that can help reduce climate change or reforestation in developing countries, such as the plantations grown by Greenwood Management in Brazil.

“Sustainable forestry schemes such as these can help to safeguard the future of the forestry industry for generations to come,” explained Mr Johnson.

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