Our impression of extravagant investments

The team at Pyrford reflect on the recent sale of a Monet painting and discuss how the uber-rich spend their loose change.

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For the lovers of French Impressionist art, we sadly report that it is now out of the price range of mere mortals. In mid-May, one of Claude Monet’s famous Haystacks series sold at auction for US$110.7 million (including commission) – a record for an Impressionist work. The painting in question is titled Meules and was completed in 1890. There were six bidders at the Sotheby’s auction in New York and the whole process took just 8.5 minutes – or US$13 million per minute. The painting measures 28.62 inches by 36.75 inches, meaning it raised US$105,228 per square inch.
We try to keep an open mind about art, and indeed admire and appreciate Monet’s work – but US$100m+ for a painting? We have also recently seen extravagant prices being paid for classic cars, whilst the demand for new-build superyachts continues at a record pace (read our recent insight here). It is clear there is plenty of loose change still rattling around in the pockets of the uber-rich. But let’s not forget, the world’s four major central banks pumped over US$11 trillion into the markets in just a handful of years from the beginning of 2009. When you scatter that sort of money around, some people are going to get very rich indeed.

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Risk Disclaimer

Views and opinions have been arrived at by BMO Global Asset Management and should not be considered to be a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any companies that may be mentioned.

The information, opinions, estimates or forecasts contained in this document were obtained from sources reasonably believed to be reliable and are subject to change at any time.

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