Roy Neuberger on Selecting Art
photo: Marian Goldman
We wish to share with you several paragraphs from a monograph titled "The Art of Investing: A Conversation with Roy Neuberger." When asked the question: "As a renowned art collector, do you find similarities between selecting stocks and selecting works of art," Mr. Neuberger responded:
"Both are an art, although picking stocks is a minor art compared with painting, sculpture or literature. I started buying art in the 30s and in the 40s it was a daily, almost hourly occurrence. My inclination to buy the works of living artists comes from Van Gogh, who sold only one painting during his lifetime. He died in poverty, only then to become a legend and have his work sold for millions of dollars.
There are more variables to consider now in both buying art and picking stocks. In the modern stock markets, the heavy use of futures and options has changed the nature of the investment world. In past times, the stock market was much less complicated, as was the art world.
Artists rose and fell on their own merits without a lot of publicity and attention. As more and more dealers are involved with artists, the price of their work becomes inflated. So I almost always by works of unknown, relatively undiscovered artists, which, I suppose, is similar to value investing.
But the big difference in my view of art and stocks is that I buy a stock to sell it and make money. I never bought paintings or sculptures for investment in my life. The objective is to enjoy their beauty."
Roy Neuberger is a founding partner of the investment management firm Neuberger & Berman and one of the United States' foremost collectors of contemporary art.
Above text reprinted with permission of Neuberger Museum of Art, granted to TFAOI April, 1997.
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