Reuters has a thinly-sourced claim that family offices are selling out of long-held gold positions and buying illiquid assets like art, farmland and forests. They’re increasingly put off by sovereign debt and hedge funds that require lock-ups against opaque strategies. The art angle fits into the story’s thesis but would be better served by some direct evidence of art asset buying rather than these sorts of vague anecdotes:
While many of these families have been holding gold for a decade or more, building positions of up to 15 percent of their investment portfolio, they are now taking profits and putting the money to work in the art market, said Andrew Nolan, a director of wealth management and advisory firm Stonehage.
“Families were well ahead of the market on gold. A lot of them were sitting on large amounts of gold for quite a while,” said Nolan, whose company manages $2 billion and advises around 100 families with total wealth of around $30 billion.
“Families are putting more into the art market, which held up far better through the crisis than a lot of other assets. There are more emerging markets buyers now, they want trophy assets, which supports prices.”