Thursday, 3 July 2008

Aboriginal Art and Wealth Building

A recent article in The Australian talks about finance books and their trend away from "getting rich quick" strategies to emphasising value, innovation and diversity, in line with a more conservative, considered investment climate.

Aboriginal Art was mentioned in the article and i thought it would be worthwhile listing it here for those who didn't see it in The Australian.

A considered approach to building wealth

Derek Parker | June 25, 2008

THE recent crop of books on personal finance underlines the trend towards DIY investment, running the gamut of possibilities across the spectrum of experience.

In the past year there has been a shift away from "get rich quick" tomes towards books emphasising value, innovation and diversity, in line with a more conservative, considered investment climate.

For novices and experienced investors, an essential text is Martin Roth's Top Stocks 2008, now in its 14th year of publication.

Roth has refined selection criteria that reveal the best performers on the ASX. This year 107 companies make the grade.

He is interested in solid, proven companies rather than the more speculative breed, and he provides useful information on performance, history and prospects, as well as comparative data and in-depth ratio analysis.

A good companion for Top Stocks 2008, given the commodities boom, is Top Resource Stocks 2008, by Allen Trench, Mickey Thompson and Leonard Lau.

It looks at the largest 100 listed companies in the mining and energy sector and supplements company information with geological data.

For investors who are new to the business of stock trading, a good place to start is Stuart McPhee's Trading in a Nutshell.

It explains the mechanics of buying and selling as well as the basics of technical analysis and pattern recognition.

McPhee also points to the need to know when to cut your losses and when to let the profits run, which is a matter of having a plan and knowing what you want to achieve.

This emphasis on self-discipline and organisation is also a theme of Value: Finding Hidden Gems on the Sharemarket by James Carlisle.

Compared with McPhee's chartist approach, Carlisle prefers to focus on company accounts and financial data, including quality of management and broad economic trends.

The key is to find companies that are on the verge of growth. This requires detailed research and a measure of intuition.

But despite their different emphases, McPhee and Carlisle agree that occasional losses are inevitable, and portfolio diversification is a good way of minimising the risks.

For those who prefer to more tangible investments, property remains a good option, and Peter Cerexhe's Smarter Property Investment is a good place to start.

Cerexhe notes that investment in property is a long way from a sure-fire path to riches and he does a good job of explaining what can go wrong and how the traps can be dodged. The chapters on selecting the best property in terms of purchase price, ongoing costs and potential for capital gain are particularly useful, and he provides helpful advice on dealing with lenders over finance.

He also includes a comprehensive section on tax matters, an area often overlooked in connection with property investment.

A less conventional, but potentially lucrative, area of investment is art.

Michael Reid, in How to Buy & Sell Art, explains that art investment is not for everyone, but it can add valuable depth to a portfolio, especially for super funds.

Reid casts a wide net, ranging from buying methods to up-and-coming artists.

He includes an extensive section on the booming area of Aboriginal art and provides a comprehensive listing of galleries, auction houses and collecting associations as well as a glossary of specialist terms.

Investors who prefer to look to the far horizon will find Jim Rogers' latest book, A Bull in China, an interesting perspective on China and Hong Kong.

He identifies the areas of China's economy, such as energy and technology infrastructure, that are doing particularly well and points to the leading companies in those fields.

But a problem is that Rogers, while always entertaining, tends to skip over some of the regulatory issues around investing in China, such as the limitations on non-Chinese holding large amounts of Chinese currency and repatriation of profits.

An even broader canvas is a feature of When Markets Collide: Investment Strategies for the Age of Global Economic Change by Mohammed El-Erian, who oversees $US800 billion as co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management in the US.

He looks at the shift in global economic weight to countries that were once considered chronic under-achievers and then examines how these trends affect investment decisions.

He suggests that a balanced portfolio should include equities from fast-developing countries as well as bonds and hedging instruments.

As a practical strategy, this is probably better suited to large investors than smaller players, but the book offers interesting insights into how the financial architecture is changing.

Link to Original Article

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Darwin Festival & Telstra Aboriginal Art Awards are coming!

The Annual Darwin Festival is coming up again soon.

As someone who has attended the festival a number of times I can attest to the claims that it is the premier festival for the top end of Australia and the Asia Pacific Region.

August is a busy month in Darwin with not only mainstream events like the Darwin Cup but a plethora of Art cultural events incorporated around the Darwin Festival including the National Aboriginal Art Awards, The Indigenous Music Awards and the Garma Festival.

The centrepiece is the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards - commonly known as The Telstras.

The opening of the Telstra's will be held on Friday 15th August 2008 at 6pm at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Conacher Street, Bullocky Point, Darwin

It is a fantastic night and has become a very important event within the Aboriginal Art Industry.

I have listed below some links to articles containing more information on the Telstra's as well as some of the other events being held during August

Question Marks over Rover Artwork

Interesting article below about the withdrawal of a Rover Thomas Painting from a recent Auction. Any time this happens it will always make the national press due to the hysteria regarding possible fake paintings in the industry.

I think it is important to remember that this by no means means the painting wasn't a Rover Thomas artwork and I also believe there is an enormous amount of unfounded scaremongering regarding fake artworks within the industry, regardless of the legitimacy of this individual case
I plan to expand on this further in the near future but I think it is important for people within the Art industry to not fall victim to the sensationalism the same way many other people do with more mainstream industries or issues.

Auctioneers withdraw Rover painting over concerns at listing

Corrie Perkin

AUCTION house Lawson-Menzies yesterday withdrew from sale a painting by indigenous artist Rover Thomas after concerns that important information had been overlooked in the auction catalogue.

The 1983 painting, Bedford Station, was to have been auctioned last night at Lawson-Menzies's sale of contemporary Australian and Aboriginal art in Sydney. As reported in The Australian yesterday, art experts have expressed unease that a reference to Melbourne art dealer Neil McLeod's ownership of the work did not appear in the L-M catalogue.

This was despite an entry in the June 2000 auction catalogue of L-M's sister auction house Deutscher-Menzies that stated the painting was "acquired directly from the artist by Neil McLeod at Connie's wash house (Rover's sister- in-law) at Warmun in 1985".

The L-M catalogue entry for Bedford Station - estimated at between $60,000 and $80,000 - states: "Painted in 1983 at Warmun, one of three works acquired from Connie's wash house (Rover's sister-in-law)."

Mr McLeod, a photographer, artist and collector, has worked with Aboriginal artists for years. Some, like Thomas, stayed with him at his studio in the Dandenongs in Melbourne's outer east, including Jack Dale and David Mowaljarlai.

Over the past 18 months, The Australian has reported industry concerns about some artworks painted by Thomas in June 1995, during a visit believed to be of between one and two weeks' duration to Mr McLeod's studio.

Art specialists say they are unsettled by brush strokes and painting style, colours, and details of how some works were acquired. Mr McLeod could not be contacted. It is believed he befriended Thomas in the 1980s when the artist first started painting on boards and canvas.

Last night's auction reaped $2,715,600, including buyers' premium, with 122 of the 137 lots sold. This brought in $15,153,480 to the auction house this week when combined with Wednesday's Deutscher-Menzies Galleries auction which included the $6.9 million sale of Pablo Picasso's Sylvette (1954).

In total, the two auctions sold 231 of 263 works catalogued.

Link to original article

Diversity the name of the game


Contemporary exhibition will surprise, says art curator


One of the works from the Culture Warriors exhibition (National Gallery)

An exhibition showcasing the diversity of Indigenous Australian art is about to open at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Culture Warriors features 90 works from 30 Aboriginal artists from all states and territories.

The eldest of the artists is 95 and the youngest is 25.

Curator Nici Cumpston says visitors will be excited.

"I think some people will be surprised by what Indigenous art looks like in the 21st century," she said.

"I hope visitors will appreciate the depth and dynamism in this exhibition and come away having discovered something new about contemporary Indigenous culture."

To complement the exhibition, the Art Gallery is also showing some of its latest Indigenous acquisitions and a display of recent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prints.

Culture Warriors will be in Adelaide until August 30.

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