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Collectible assets

Collectible art: Cezanne: apples
Photo credit: © The Provost and Scholars of King's College, Cambridge.

Previously, risk-return characteristics of art have been studied by estimating aggregated price indexes, giving each asset the same weight as every other index constituent. The question remains how representative of investor experience such indices are. This project examines the investment performance of art portfolios through a detailed analysis of the long-term performance of a famous art collection – that of the economist John Maynard Keynes – supplemented by further research based on more recent art market transactions. 

Lead researchers: Dr David Chambers (University of Cambridge), Professor Elroy Dimson (University of Cambridge) and Dr Christophe Spaenjers (HEC, Paris) 

In a book co-authored in 2004, Elroy described how in 1895 his viticulturist great-grandparents opened a wine shop in London's East End. Elroy was the fifth generation to be involved in producing and selling wine, and his background piqued the interest of Simon Berry, Chairman of Berry Brothers & Rudd, who's London wine business dates back to 1698. Simon made available his firm's archives for Elroy and his colleagues to research the price of fine wine over the long term. Their history of Premier Cru Bordeaux prices from 1899 to date and their analysis of the determinants of wine prices has been published in scholarly and professional journals. It has also been featured in the specialist wine press and in international media, and the authors received the Best Paper award from The American Association of Wine Economists. Their research has also extended to measuring the long-term investment performance.

Dimson, E., Rousseau, P.L. and Spaenjers, C. (2015) "The price of wine." Journal of Financial Economics, 118(2): 431-449 (DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2015.08.005) (available online via the SSRN)

This won Best Paper Award from AAWE.

Dimson, E. and Spaenjers, C. (2014) "Investing in emotional assets." Financial Analysts Journal, 70(2): 20-25 (DOI: 10.2469/faj.v70.n2.8)