Meet The Billionaire Art Dealer Who Proves Art Can Make You Rich


David Nahmad’s journey from his traditional Jewish family in Lebanon to self-made billionaire proves art can be a lucrative investment. 

Nahmad’s passion for fine arts led him to amass a fortune, primarily driven by his remarkable collection of over 300 Picassos valued at a minimum of $1 billion. Nahmad’s entire art collection is worth an estimated $3.5 billion.

Nahmad’s interest in art began during his early childhood in Beirut, where he grew up in a family who cherished art. Details about his upbringing and education remain somewhat elusive, but in 1960, because of political unrest in Lebanon, the family relocated to Milan. It was during his time in Italy that young David was exposed to the art world, which set the stage for his future endeavors.

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Nahmad, along with his brothers Joseph and Ezra, started their art careers during the mid-1960s, demonstrating entrepreneurial flair as they engaged in trading on the Italian Stock Market. Their association with the influential Cubist dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler played a significant role in shaping their future in the art market.

Over the years, they amassed a collection of modernist and impressionist art, carefully stored in a duty-free warehouse in Geneva. The collection includes masterpieces by renowned artists such as Monet, Matisse, Renoir, Rothko and, most notably, Picasso.

The Nahmad brothers’ fortune grew through astute buying and auctioning of these artworks.

They split their art assets equally, sharing their collection and investment opportunities. In addition to their art dealings, David Nahmad’s ventures into currency and stock portfolio trading have further enriched his financial portfolio.

Art has long been recognized as a profitable investment over the long term. But art ownership has traditionally been limited to the elite because of the high cost of purchasing individual artworks. However, it’s now possible for the average investor to own shares of rare and valuable artworks, regardless of their financial resources. Over the past 50 years, the art market has outperformed the stock market. This is because of art’s unique nature as an asset class that operates independently of traditional investments, such as stocks and bonds. This lack of correlation means that art can provide diversification to an investment portfolio, reducing overall risk and potentially enhancing returns.

As the art market continues to demonstrate its investment potential, Masterworks serves as a bridge, connecting everyday people to the captivating world of art investment.

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