Art is no longer just a way to spend wealth—it's also become a creator of wealth.
A new study from Wealth-X, the Singapore-based wealth research firm, ranks the world's top billionaire art collectors by the value of their collections. The study found that the world's 2,170 billionaires hold an average of $31 million each of art, equal to 0.5 percent of their net worth.
The world's top, private art collection belongs to David Geffen, the music and entertainment mogul. Wealth-X said Geffen has $1.1 billion—or a fifth of his $5.5 billion fortune—in his art collection.
Geffen has been one of the smartest buyers and sellers in the art market for decades, having been an early collector of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and other postwar American artists. He reportedly sold a Pollock drip painting for $140 million in 2006 and a de Kooning for more than $130 million.