Are Art, Jewelry Good Investments for Physicians?

March 16, 2015

For many physicians, art and jewelry are good investments - but not necessarily in the financial sense.

Physicians often ask me: Are art and jewelry good investments?

I find this to be an emotional question.  Those physicians who appreciate fine art and/or jewelry tend to hope that these tangible items are good investments.

For these physicians, art and jewelry are good investments - but not necessarily in the financial sense. 

We all own many things that bring us pleasure, but which do not enhance our financial net worth.  For example, I have owned a nice home for over 25 years.  I could never sell it for anywhere near the inflation adjusted cost of building it.  That's OK - it was a great investment filled with decades of enjoyment and memories. 

I also own art that I enjoy daily, however, I have no expectation of selling it - ever. I have some art that was left to me by a parent, and this has an intangible meaning as well. Still, it has no financial investment value.

The same is true of your nice car and your nice vacation Cars and vacations are depleting assets. 

Jewelry has many intangible added costs well above liquidation value. It is possible to get back some of your investment, but not probable.

Art is something to really enjoy, but outside of owning art by well-known artists at a tremendous cost, you should not count on making money on it.  Of course, you may be unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised by being ahead of a particular art movement.

In a previous article I discussed that how you spend your money cannot be easily judged as unwise, unless you are not saving enough. 

Many people derive great enjoyment from owning beautiful artwork and wearing nice jewelry. 

If they truly have the discretionary income to own these things, then they are (at worst) truly good investments in the quality of life.