October 29, 2014

artful-dodgersIs Art a Good Investment?
by Aysha Griffin, Communications Director,
The Merriman Financial Education Foundation

Have you ever bought or been given a piece of art you believe is an investment? What about the “authentic originals” you travel to museums to view? But what if your proudly displayed artwork isn’t worth what you think and those masterpieces aren’t real? Art, like any investment, can be a minefield of dangers for the private and institutional investor. “Art is the world’s most unregulated market and does not even follow the rules of modern economics,” writes Bernard Ewell author of Artful Dodgers – Fraud and Foolishness in the Art Market.

In this fascinating recent book, Ewell exposes the players, the con men and larger-than-life personalities, the crooks and their victims. “We all participate in the fraud and foolishness that props up an art market that buys and sells civilization’s greatest treasures and most horrible junk.”

A senior appraiser of Fine Arts, international Salvador Dali expert, art columnist, lecturer, professor of Valuation Law and expert witness for law enforcement and regulatory agencies, Ewell identifies and explains the “six myths that drive the art market.” They are: art has value; art values always increase; art is a good investment; you can always sell your art and get out of it at least what it cost; the bigger the name of the artist, the higher the value; and when an artist dies, the value of his art goes up.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ewell in both San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Santa Fe, NM, where he lives and attended my workshops on marketing for writers. He is a marvelous storyteller, driven by passion for the vast art market in which he has immersed himself for more than 4 decades.

With wisdom and wit, he educates the reader to the realities of art dealers, international auction houses, big name galleries, superstar artists and museums haunted by fakes and forgeries. While the true-life anecdotes provide astonishing insight, he also rewards us with tools for developing connoisseurship, learning to trust our own taste, and the business of buying art and working with dealers.

This book (in paperback and Kindle editions) can be ordered at Amazon.com, local bookstores, or directly from his website if you’d like a signature and dedication: artfuldodgers.us

In a similar vein, Paul’s book, Get Smart of Get Screwed: How To Select The Best and Get The Most From Your Financial Advisor, offers financial market investors insights and questions to help you understand how to find and work with competent and ethical advisors, firms and products. Getting the best and most from your advisor should improve your returns, reduce your risk and give yougreater peace of mind. Whether you are a first-time or savvy investor, you will learn new ways to avoid the plethora of pitfalls many investors encounter. It is available as a free download at Paul’s website or in paperback from Amazon.

Upcoming Talks and Interviews with Paul Merriman

Nov. 1 – Paul will be speak about “Your Money Your Wealth” with Joe Anderson and Alan Clopine on theirPure Financial radio show. The show airs Saturday 10am-Noon on 760AM-KFMB in San Diego and 10:00am-11:00am on 870AM-KRLA in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Nov. 4 – Paul will again be interviewed on Ken Roberts’ “Bulls and Bears” radio show.  Live at 10:00am on 101.3FM in the Reno, NV area, the first 30 minutes will be replayed on 1060AM on Friday at 4:30pm and on 99.1FM on Sunday at 9:00pm. You can also listen live online.

November 13-15 – Paul will be presenting three different classes to professionals and college students at the American Indian Scientists and Engineers Society (AISES) National Conference in Orlando. While not open to public, he is excited to be helping a lot of young professionals and soon to be college graduates get on track with their investments.

Updates to Mutual Fund Recommendations:
* Changed name of Vanguard “Tax-Managed Portfolios” to “Vanguard Taxable Portfolios”

* Changed the symbol of the Vanguard Developing Markets fund from VDMIX to VDVIX

5 Lessons on Investing for the Market Weary
Two weeks ago the stock market tumbled, freaking out all sorts of investors. First there were the “bond bears” who bailed out of fixed-income funds because they “just knew” they were about to lose money big-time in bonds. More

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