Interactive Monday: The Auction Game

Apr 12, 2020

Many may be surprised to discover that art is considered an asset class with contemporary art generating annual returns of 7.5% on average since 1985. 

Hat tip to Morning Brew for highlighting the Auction Game, where your students get to bid on famous and not-so-famous works of art. Through this process students will gain an understanding of how a non-traditional, less liquid auction market works.  Unlike the stock market that has millions of shares being bought and sold everyday, these art auctions may only have dozens or hundreds of potential buyers (not everyone can afford to bid millions on a Monet). 

Here's an example: 

They guess the value of the art piece, click on the gavel and see how close their bid is to the winning bid. Points are awarded based on how close their guess is to the winning bid. Each game involves 9 rounds and each game will involved different pieces for students to bid on. 


  • What determines the value of art pieces? 
  • What are the similarities/differences between the art market and stock market? 
  • Do you see any patterns in terms of what art pieces were most valuable? 




About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.