If "Dogs Playing Poker" is your idea of a priceless painting, then investing in art might not be for you. But if you hit the books and do your homework, you might be able to make a bit of cash. High-end art has held up well in this economic downturn. In fact, art has been an attractive investment for decades. But you have to know what you're doing. Don't study one artist. Become familiar with various mediums and styles. More importantly, invest in art that moves you. If your gut tells you it's a nice work of art, it probably is, but that doesn't mean it's valuable.
Like all investments, the price of art fluctuates. Since most people don't have money to invest in a Picasso, they tend to buy artists that lack lofty pedigrees. That's a great idea. The struggling artist of today could be the Van Gogh of tomorrow. Always look at the perspective, color and composition of a work of art. These tell-tale signs will never change with a major artist. If you find flaws, chances are it's a bad copy or a painting done by a student. If you're buying a sculpture, make sure you have a written provenance. It will be worth more. Buy reasonably priced items. Take care of the art you buy. A damaged piece will lose much of its value [source: Credit Advisor].