Alternative Investing: Fractional Fine Art

Oliver Lane

Founder, Product Lead

Alternative Investing: Fractional Fine Art

Investing in fine art has traditionally been reserved for a privileged few. However, the rise of mobile apps and fractional investing has revolutionised the art market, making it accessible to a wider audience.

These innovative apps offer a seamless user experience, allowing individuals to diversify their portfolios and participate in the art market with ease. By enabling users to invest in fractional shares of valuable artworks, apps cater to consumer needs, offering an alternative investment opportunity beyond traditional options. With intuitive interfaces, curated collections, and informative details about each artwork, mobile apps create an engaging and inclusive space for art enthusiasts and investors alike.

In this blog we explore the User Experience (UX) of a market leader in the fractional fine art world, Masterworks. Contemporary art has outperformed the S&P for the past 26 years, but there has been no way to invest in it. Masterworks is the first company to offer art investment products to the retail investing public.

Masterworks – Account Overview

Key Takeaways

The Masterworks home screen is akin to what you might expect to see in a crowdfunding app. The different investments available with visualisations and videos of the art on offer, the “progress” and uptake of those featured investments along with similar sales prices, record prices and repeat sales.

Masterworks uses an effective charts to show performance over time as well all the information users need to make investment decisions; price appreciation of similar works, key ratios, overall offering and “more information” in PDFs such as artist overview and deal sheets.

Purchasing a new investment is very simple through the app, with each featured investment having a big “INVEST NOW” button to prompt engagement. Through the investment journey Masterworks offers multiple payment types including linked bank accounts and providing a seamless experience to complete purchases.

The My Portfolio screen is similar to modern investment apps including total account value and a overall performance chart. The chart has an effective UI to show different “appraisal dates” of the users investment and helpful ‘i’ icons to explain the different terms used on the app.

Tapping into an individual investment offers a further layer of detail into the investment including total offering amount, the number of shares held, average cost per share and total cost to the user. This level of personalisation is effective in showing user specific information related to their investment. This feature also includes a timeline of investment activity such as purchase and appraisal dates which provides useful information to users.

For a company that is selling fine art, providing a great User Experience and Design is critical to aligning with the brand and Masterworks has done this effectively. There are some inspirations and lessons that can be learnt for apps looking to including fractional art or other alternative investments in their proposition.

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