The Best Way Creating Liquidity Value of Your Art Collection – Borrow

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Unlocking the Value of Your Art Collection

Art collectors have high value inaccessible in their art collections.  If they need to access of this value, they do not have to sell their art to create liquidity – Borrow.  They can borrow funds and retain possession for their art.

There are big advantages to borrowing – avoiding selling cost, capital gain and taxes.  It could be up to 65+ percent.  These combination can make it VERY expensive to sell.

What is the alternative to access its liquidity?  Borrow.

For example:  A collector sells his art for $US 10 million. Assuming selling costs of 20 percent (20 percent of $US 10 million = $2 million) and an original cost of $US 1,000,000 for the art.

  • Funds realizes a before-tax profit: $US 7 million.
  • Net to collector:  $US 4.2 million  (this profit is subject to capital gains tax. Assuming a rate of 40 percent (28 percent federal plus 12 percent state), the collector pays $2.8 million in capital gains tax, and nets $4.2 million.
  • Net to heirs:  $US 2.1 million (these net proceeds are subject to estate taxes at the collector’s death. Assuming a 50 percent rate, the heirs receive only $2.1 million — on art sold for $US 10 million! This represents a loss of 79 percent across a single generation, and underscores the cost of selling art.)

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By selling during his lifetime, the collector pays 2 levels of tax: capital gains and estate. By borrowing to create liquidity, the collector can keep the art during his lifetime and have his estate benefit from a step-up in tax basis. This enables collectors to pay just one level (estate tax) rather than two. In this example, the collector could borrow as much as $US 5 million (up to half the art’s value) and keep his art. Art collector would be responsible for debt service on the loan, but he would also benefit from any appreciation on his art.

What art collectors do with the proceeds?  These are few:

  • Entrepreneurs frequently borrow against their art to invest in their existing businesses or new ventures
  • People also borrow against their art to make charitable contributions, pay medical expenses, and fund divorce settlements.
  • An art-based loan is a low-cost option for art collectors in need of cash flow who can enjoy their art while making scheduled payments.
  • In these uncertain economic times, art collectors also borrow to avoid the risk of having their art “bought in” (or “burned”) at auction, which makes it difficult to sell for years to come.
  • Faced with estate taxes that must be paid within a short time frame, executors frequently liquidate art collections quickly. But borrowing funds to pay estate taxes and administration costs makes it possible for executors to maximize the value of the estate’s assets by selling the art over time, thus avoiding a “fire sale.”
  • Many arrange lines of credit and term loans to invest more art.
  • Some whose wealth is concentrated in art borrow funds to invest in other asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, oil, gas, private equity, and hedge funds, thereby diversifying their holdings.

Consult your financial adviser, accountant, attorney, or estate planner while making these decisions.

  • Does art collector want the flexibility of a line of credit or a term loan of 3-10 years?
  • Does art collector want a six-month loan to fund short-term liquidity needs?
  • Or an advance against art that art collector plans to sell later this year?

CONTACT US… Collectors interested in arranging financing should contact us for free consultation.  We will assist to identify the borrowing need, determine what type of financing makes the most sense, and facilitate the appropriate lender.  Please note minimum appraisal report is at $US 5 million.

Related resources at Amazon Corner:

  1. Fine Art and High Finance: Expert Advice on the Economics of Ownership
  2. Structured Finance and Insurance: The ART of Managing Capital and Risk
  3. The Art of Buying Art: An Insider’s Guide to Collecting Contemporary Art
  4. The Art Business
  5. Art as an Investment
  6. Risk and Uncertainty in the Art World
  7. The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century

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