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Financial Institution Offers Art Classes for Heirs of Clients

Citibank is currently offering is an art-buying class. Why should heirs and wealthy clients care about buying art? The art investment world seems to be a growing place for wealthy funds, and some individuals are choosing to invest in art instead of traditional wealth-management tactics such as stocks and bonds.

Recent auctions indicate the growth of the market. In May, a Picasso auctioned for about $180 million. In 2015, 125 items were auctioned or sold for $10 million or over. In 2005, that number was only 18.

The Citibank class walks participants through catalogs of art, teaching students about condition, rarity, quality and provenance as well as how these things impact the worth of a piece. The class includes a mock auction where participants bid on artwork and then hear from an expert regarding how well they did with purchases. In a recent class, for example, participants bid high amounts on a Kate Moss portrait before hearing from an expert that the portrait was probably not worth what they paid for it.

Some experts have pointed out that the Citibank idea might be a novel way to keep client accounts through the generations, but it doesn’t make heirs experts in art or wealth and estate management. A little knowledge can be helpful, but decisions regarding estate administration and wealth management should be based on more experience than can be garnered in a class that lasts a few days.

Source: Hyperallergic, “Bank Offers Art-Buying Classes for Heirs and Heiresses,” Laura C. Mallonee, July 27, 2015

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