convey a “feeling of peace and tranquility, a sense of timelessness that we are all searching for in our frantic lives,” says Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., curator of northern Baroque painting at the National Gallery of Art. “Great art makes you see the world differently.”
As you already know, wealth preservation is about protecting the wealth you already have. In the short term, wealth preservation is about maintaining a hedge against investments you have in more volatile markets such as the stock market. In the long term, wealth preservation is about maintaining some sort of protection from potentially devastating and crippling events such as a major financial crisis. It is long term wealth preservation that I am most interested in as it is the most relevant to the art investor. Legendary author and financial advisor Howard Ruff, in an article he wrote titled ‘Gold and Silver Insurance’, explained one of the reasons that gold is such a good long term wealth preservation vehicle. According to Ruff: “It’s there (gold) to use as real money in the case of a worst-case, like an inflationary currency collapse, or terrorist hackers shutting down the power grid so no one has access to their dollars at the bank or at the ATM and they can’t open the supermarket cash registers. It’s in case the same terrorist-financed hackers break into the computers of the money-center banks where most of the world’s dollars are there in hyperspace, insert a destructive virus and the world’s dollars disappearing in a nano-second.
Remember, only about 5% of the worlds’ dollars are minted, printed or coined. The rest are only on the computers of banks. If the computer data is wiped out, there could go the monetary system of the world, because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. This would mean the instant collapse of the American economy, and maybe Western Civilization. Then the world would instinctively go back to gold and silver as a means of exchange and store of value until the computers are fixed and a new paper-money system is cobbled together.”
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications