Skyrocketing art prices may have inspired some high-net-worth clients to ask about adding a few paintings to their portfolios. But advisors should help them view this creative asset class with a healthy dose of realism.

In November, the $170.4 million sale of an Amedeo Modigliani oil painting at Christie’s in New York was the second-highest price ever paid for an artwork at auction, and the highest ever for a Modigliani work. The buyer was Liu Yiqian, a taxi-driver-turned-billionaire-art-collector whose rags-to-riches tale reads like a movie script.

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