The High Street Group

The High Street Group offers unregulated loan notes paying 18% after 18 months (11.66%pa compounded) or 5% every 6 months for 18 months (10.28%pa IRR).

The investment is not advertised via The High Street Group’s website but is publicly available on introducers’ websites.

Status

Open to new investment.

Who are High Street Group?

gforrest
Gary Forrest, High Street Group Chairman

High Street Group’s leadership is detailed on its website. Gary Forrest is the Chairman and owns 100% of High Street Grp Ltd, the parent company.

The investment literature states that the group was founded in 2006 but Companies House shows that High Street Grp Ltd was only founded in 2011. The High Street Group’s website was registered in November 2010.

The business appears to have taken off in the last few years, with net assets rising from £22,000 in the December 2015 accounts to £26 million in December 2016. This increase is primarily due to Investments of £26 million being recorded in 2016 vs nil in 2015. These investments are indicated to be High Street Group’s various subsidiary companies in the notes to the accounts.

The investment literature claims that the group made 26 million profit in 2016 and has 100 employees. This is curious, because that level of profit and workforce would require the group to file full accounts with Companies House, yet High Street Grp Ltd’s last accounts (30 December 2016) were filed under the small company regime. This means the accounts did not have to be audited or display a profit and loss statement.

How secure is the investment?

These investments are unregulated corporate loans and if High Street Group defaults you risk losing up to 100% of your money.

Investors’ money is secured against the assets of the group – specifically a “debenture over High Street Commercial Finance Limited” (one of HSG’s subsiaries) “along with a Corporate Guarantee from the group of companies”.

Before relying on this security, it is essential that investors undertake professional due diligence to ensure that in the event of a default, that their charge against the group’s assets is propertly recorded, and that the security is valuable and liquid enough to raise sufficient money to compensate investors.

Should I invest with High Street Group?

As with any unregulated corporate bond, this investment is only suitable for sophisticated and/or high net worth investors who have a substantial existing portfolio and are prepared to risk 100% loss of their money.

Any investment offering 11.66% per annum yields should be considered very high risk (i.e. higher risk than a diversified portfolio of stockmarket funds).

This particular bond is described as asset-backed. Before relying on the security backing the bond, investors should undertake professional due diligence to ensure that a) the security exists b) in the event of default, the security could be easily sold and would raise enough money to compensate all the investors c) their charge over the security will be properly and legally recorded.

Before investing investors should ask themselves:

  • How would I feel if the investment defaulted, the sale of the security failed to raise  enough money to compensate all investors, and I lost 100% of my money?
  • Do I have a sufficiently large portfolio that the loss of 100% of my investment would not damage me financially?
  • Have I conducted due diligence to ensure the asset-backed security can be relied on?

If you are looking for “security”, you should not invest in unregulated products with a risk of 100% capital loss.

68 thoughts on “The High Street Group

  1. Hello There. I have a problem with the high street group article? Is states that the company is unregulated – which is true. However, you have failed to mention Castle Financial Trust who both work on behalf of HSG’s investors and is both FCA and FSCS regulated? A company which will liquidate any assets of the company fails to make payment. What you also failed to mention in that the 15 years HSG has been alive, they have a 100% track record with every single penny been paid back to investors. Maybe you should get ALL the facts straight before you right an article like this.

    I would imagine you might want to amend this now. Thank you

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  2. Is states that the company is unregulated – which is true.

    Good start.

    However, you have failed to mention Castle Financial Trust who both work on behalf of HSG’s investors and is both FCA and FSCS regulated? A company which will liquidate any assets of the company fails to make payment.

    There is no such firm on the FCA register. And no such thing as “FSCS regulated”.

    An unregulated loan note issued by an unregulated company is an unregulated investment. Whatever FCA-regulated firms it may employ for ancillary duties is irrelevant.

    What you also failed to mention in that the 15 years HSG has been alive, they have a 100% track record with every single penny been paid back to investors.

    This oft-parroted cliche is completely meaningless. If they didn’t have a 100% track record they wouldn’t be soliciting investment.

    And added to that, the company soliciting investment (High Street Grp Limited) was only incorporated in 2011 (and was dormant until 2013), and its website domain was registered in 2010. There is no evidence that it existed prior to those dates.

    Maybe you should get ALL the facts straight before you right an article like this.

    Feel free to tell me which facts I haven’t got write.

    I would imagine you might want to amend this now.

    You imagine wrong.

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  3. https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDetailsPage?id=001b000000NMRMAAA5

    If you follow this link you will find that Castle Trust is in fact on the FCA register list. What you also wouldn’t know is that every single payment gets paid into Castle Trust before being transferred to HSG. This way Castle Trust are able to record every single transaction so whenever a financial body wishes to investigate the company financial – which they have multiple times – everything is above board and protected. I hardly think there is a likely hood of a £100,000 investment couldn’t be paid back using 69 million in assets.

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  4. If the company is so keen on multiple financial investigations, why does it not have its annual accounts audited?

    And why is High Street Commercial Finance Limited, the issuer of the loan note, four months overdue with its accounts?

    The company’s claims as to its financials are of no value from a due diligence perspective if they are not independently audited. No sensible lender lends their money based solely on what the borrower claims about their ability to pay.

    The fact that investors’ money goes in and out of a payment processor is similarly irrelevant.

    If High Street Group runs out of money to service its debts – an inherent risk with any loan to a micro-cap small company – the payment processor will most likely walk away, saying it isn’t being paid. Alternatively it would appoint administrators, which the creditors could do for themselves. The FSCS does not apply here.

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  5. The fact that the accounts are late pays no risk to the investors. The clients have a first legal charge on their investment, meaning HSG pay their investors before anyone else. Plus all investors are self certified – this isn’t just an investment for the general public. They do business with a very niche market of sophisticated investors.

    If HSG runs out of money? Yeah, I’m sure all those 69 million assets are just suddenly going to disappear? Their mutiple steams of liquidity plus their long list of assets is by far enough keep paying back returns.

    Obviously HSG themselves aren’t going to be FCA approved because they are in the property sector; they aren’t a financial body. Which is why we have Castle Trusy in place. FCA approved companies can still be cowboys. Even the biggest FCA approved companies make mistakes; the banks are the biggest cowboys in the market!

    Being FCA approved doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll get compensated. Which is obviously where the FSCS step in; who of which can compensate you. The security on this is so high and so important; which is exactly why HSG require all investors to be self certified first, and that they don’t offer this to the general public.

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  6. The fact that the accounts are late pays no risk to the investors.

    Well that’s alright then.

    The clients have a first legal charge on their investment, meaning HSG pay their investors before anyone else. Plus all investors are self certified – this isn’t just an investment for the general public. They do business with a very niche market of sophisticated investors.

    In which case I’m not sure why a blog pointing out what all your sophisticated investors will already know about the high risk nature of these investments is such an issue for you.

    If HSG runs out of money? Yeah, I’m sure all those 69 million assets are just suddenly going to disappear? Their mutiple steams of liquidity plus their long list of assets is by far enough keep paying back returns.

    Let’s be clear here, are you saying that no company with £69 million in assets can go bust?

    In any case, the issuer here is High Street Commercial Finance which has gross assets of c. £22.5m and net assets of £892k according to its most recent (and moth-eaten) accounts from Dec 2016.

    Being FCA approved doesn’t even guarantee that you’ll get compensated. Which is obviously where the FSCS step in; who of which can compensate you.

    Let’s be clear here, in exactly which circumstances are you saying the FSCS will compensate investors in High Street Group’s loan notes?

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  7. HSG have an estimated £700 million worth of developments in the pipeline for the next 2/3 years. There’s an extremely unlikely possibility of HSG going under with these plans in place. In case of a default in payment, Castle Trust will either refinance the properties with the bank so they can afford to pay clients, or even sell the buildings to make payments. There are multiple ways of ensuring payment for investors.

    And even in an unrealistic scenario that HSG for whatever reason do have to declare bankruptcy anytime soon, their massive residential buildings, chain of hotels and bars, homes all still have a value, and which would all be sold. Like I mentioned, the clients all still hold the 1st legal charge and will always be paid first no matter what.

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  8. High St Group are stating they have a 100% track record of paying back investors my loan note was due to mature in March but High St Group have defaulted on this and exercised the right to extend this by 6 months. When i contacted them as to why i would not be paid on time they said it was due to planning permission.

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  9. Curious. If HSG have £700 million worth of developments in the pipeline then why would one particular project meeting planning permission problems prevent HSG returning investors’ capital on time? No doubt Louis will be able to clarify.

    Planning permission problem is only the first stage in a retail development so how much is an extra six months’ going to help? How likely is it that even if planning permission is granted tomorrow, HSG can get the development built and ready for sale or refinance within six months?

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  10. I have been looking into investing with this company for the past 4 months. Reading through the above blogs it makes me slightly nervous to read that Paul Davies has not received a return. It does not fill me with confidence to move forward. Is their anyone on here who can support if this is a good or bad investment and why?

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  11. Paul Davies – is this the first year anniversary for you? Have you been investing in HSG for some time (without issues) or is this your first year?

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  12. Funny that. Louis has vanished!

    69 million in assets does not mean anything when the debt outweighs the asset value and considering that none of their assets have actually reached practical completion and they have been raising funds from investors blindly for years, paying upwards of 25% commission per sale to 3rd party brokers like FJP Investment, 18% – 22% per annum to investors means their liabilities massively outweigh their asset value.

    Also worth noting, is that all of their “asset value” is based on Director’s valuations – I am no Accountant but even I can see that in their financials. Not one completed development, and all their “guaranteed” figures based on valuations – when the residential sector sees a plummet in property value I think they are going to be unstuck.

    My understanding based on assets of £69m and that combined with their turnover claims would mean they need to audit no? Pretty sure its a breach of HMRC and Companies House ruling to file small company accounts when you are not a small company??

    Please enlighten me if I am wrong there.

    Lastly, I find it very difficult to understand how hundreds of investors ALL hold a first charge? Firstly, its called a first charge for a reason, are the banks or high street lenders not involved at all? Because the charges on Companies House beg to differ, and also what kind of investment with a first charge on an “operational asset” pays 18%?!?

    Its actually quite laughable really.

    Has anyone actually invested with these people and seen a successful investment, again purely out of curiosity?

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  13. I’m having a lot of trouble with the arguments being presented in these comments to this blog.

    Louis Jan 31st: “you have failed to mention Castle Financial Trust who both work on behalf of HSG’s investors and is both FCA and FSCS regulated?”

    Louis Feb 1, “Plus all investors are self certified – this isn’t just an investment for the general public. They do business with a very niche market of sophisticated investors.”

    The FSCS reference is a complete red herring in my opinion. As Brev stated, there is no such thing as FSCS “registered” anyway but investors are most likely not permitted to access the FSCS.

    My question also, is who gave the financial advice – if any? Castle Trust Capital plc, FCA registered number 541910 appears the have limited permissions that do not include, as far as I can tell, giving of investment advice. So I guess it wasn’t them. My other question is whether the investors really are “sophisticated”? There are clearly defined legal criteria for “sophisticated” and for the self certification process in the FSMA 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 No. 1529, Schedule 5, Part 2 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/1529/schedule/5/made – and the legislation specifies “the statement to be signed … must be in the following form and contain the following content” and goes on to list two parts. The first part is the investor’s understanding of 4 things, a) – e) which contains statement that you may lose significant rights such as Ombudsman Services and the FSCS. The second section then includes 4 things that define you as “sophisticated” and only one needs to apply. So I question whether investors are “sophisticated” or simply asked to sign they were but don’t meet the criteria – this has been shown to be the case in some high profile pension scams – like Capita Oak, Henley and Westminster. Mr. N in PO-12763 learned he had signed as sophisticated but in fact was not.

    I imagine Castle Trust did not provide investment advice. Their permissions appear to be an “execution” only. So FSCS would only apply if they contravened their authorised permissions, for example if they loaned investors money to their own business and then went bust then I feel the FSCS would be applicable because that is a direct contravention of FCA rules. They are not permitted to invest client money in their own business. Since I assume they are not contravening their authorised permissions I guess their FCA registration and reference to FSCS is completely irrelevant to investors and I am sure sophisticated investors would know this – which is why I question if they really are sophisticated.

    One person commenting, Paul Davies Feb 11, is an investor so it would be useful if Paul could confirm he is/was “sophisticated” and had signed a statement in the form set out by the legislation and was he advised by an FCA regulated adviser permitted to give investment advice?

    Another argument above, Louis feb 4th, that holds absolutely no credibility whatsoever is: “HSG have an estimated £700 million worth of developments in the pipeline for the next 2/3 years. There’s an extremely unlikely possibility of HSG going under with these plans in place.” Carillion – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carillion – could probably have used the same argument and look what happened there.

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  14. Thanks for your findings. I decided to take this apart and investigate if it’s worth an investment, but you guys, among other facts, have convinced me that is it not. Thank you.

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  15. Thankyou to Brev for an excellent article and for providing responses to the ridiculous challenges made.

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  16. So what do investors get in exchange for converting their debt into equity?

    Converting debt into equity has two important consequences:

    1) HSG is no longer responsible for returning their money. To get their capital back, investors have to sell their HSG shares, which may be difficult if not impossible, as HSG is an unlisted micro-cap company.

    2) HSG no longer has to pay them interest. Dividends are paid at the discretion of whoever controls the company, in contrast to loan interest which is a legal obligation. And dividends can only be paid if the company is profitable. (This is assuming debt is converted into ordinary shares.)

    So what do investors get in exchange for taking on that extra risk? The interest on HSG’s loan notes is already almost 12%pa.

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  17. I have invested in HSG. First anniversary will be 7th Sep 2019 where i am due 12% interest on my loan note. If I opt out of converting my debt to shares is my loan note investment at risk?

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  18. Less pedantic answer: one potential reason for a company offering a debt-equity swap is that the company is not going to be able to return bondholders’ money on time. Converting the debt to equity allows the company to avoid default and liquidation, while the investors hope that eventually they will be able to sell their shares to recover their capital.

    Whether this is the case with HSG I don’t know. In part due to the failure of High Street Commercial Finance to file accounts on time, their current financial position is not publicly known.

    What reason have they given for why investors should convert their debt into shares?

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  19. I was about get involved in this shit… thanks guys.. all the best to those who invested and trying to get their money back…

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  20. Have also seen a similar but longer offering from Farrbury Capital:

    Loan note brochure: farrburycapital.com/brochures/An_Introduction_to_Loan_notes.pdf

    High Street Group story: farrburycapital.com/brochures/High_street_group_story.pdf

    Farrbury Website: http://www.farrburycapital.com

    Key Loan Note facts:

    Invest from £25,000 (no maximum cap).

    12% fixed annual return (bonuses available from the 2nd year).

    Flexible 1 – 7 year investment period.

    All funds secured against significant unencumbered assets.

    Debenture and Corporate Guarantee held by an FCA regulated Security Trustee.

    No exit fees or hidden costs such as stamp duty, legal fees, service charge, ground rent and general maintenance.

    Exit option every 12 months.

    Has anyone else done further due diligence on this?

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  21. @Goutham: Well, aside from the obvious “sucker filters” in that investment pitch, there’s no way I’d trust 25 grand to a company that was incorporated less than a month ago.

    My general guidance for propositions like this is that you should only invest money you’d be happy putting on a horse at the bookies or staking on red at the casino. And either of those probably has more chance of paying out and would be tax-free.

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  22. I previously made a comment back in January regards High Street Group defaulting on a loan note which was to mature in March .What was actually happening was the investment along with added interest was being deferred for 6 months But as I already had 2 investments both with well known companies MJS and LCF going in to liquidation at the same time I assumed that I was going to lose more money which anyone would think was going to happen . Over the last few months following conversations with various members of the High St Group and emails regarding this and other investments I have with them I am now of the opinion this is a good company and therefore I apologise for jumping to the wrong conclusions and just want to put the record straight . Paul Davies.

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  23. Well that’s very good news.

    Perhaps you could let us know in September that you have received your capital back, and then the record would be put even straighter.

    What would also help put the record straight is if High Street Commercial Finance Limited filed their legally required annual accounts to December 2017, which have now been overdue for eight months.

    MJS and LCF? That’s some chronic bad luck. I sincerely hope HSG works out better.

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  24. @Goutham don’t go near any of these so called bond or loan note companies, they just take your money and you won’t get it back. trust me.

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  25. @paul daniels

    What introducer company did you go through for your MJS LCF and HSG investments?

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  26. I was recently contacted by an introducer about this investment. HSG are now offering a bonus on any investment on top of a 12% per year interest. Bonuses start after the first year, increasing every year until the 12th year. At which point, investors would earn a 12% bonus on top of the original 12% pa return. Are these terms, which are more generous and designed to increase the length of any investment, a potential sign that HSG is suffering cash flow problems? It would seem unusual for HSG to offer more generous terms unless cash was needed urgently.

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  27. I’ll reiterate my comments above about these interest rates implying casino-like levels of investment risk.

    Drawing form another earlier post above, the issuer – assuming it is High Street Commercial Finance Limited – has at last filed its (unaudited) 2017 accounts. And they show the company made a loss of approaching £12 million that year. And that’s after a (remember this is unaudited) revaluation of its investment holdings by a further £12.7 million. Amounts due from related companies have doubled to near £20 million, and it has to find £37.5 million to repay investors before 2022.

    I wouldn’t want to speculate on its performance through 2018, which remains opaque to mere investors.

    Is this a company you feel comfortable having your money for the NEXT TWELVE YEARS?

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  28. High street group has a Fixed Investment Asset value of 41million. This is quite impressive. However when you look at accounts it says on note 4 ” Investment in subsidiary companies have been valued on a fair value basis. These valuations have been calculated by the directors with reference to the fair value of the net assets of each company and projected profitability. The historic cost of the investment is £100,101″ I am not an accountant but this doesn’t look that re assuring. Or am I not fully understanding the accounts.

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  29. Does this mean that they have valued Fixed Asset Investments 400 times more than historic cost.. I guess you don’t pay tax until the asset is sold therefor its a great way to bolster balance sheet ad attract new investors.

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  30. Hi Brev. I’ve recently been looking at investing in this company and have read all the comments on here. But something is missing. There is a deleted comment from 7 April which is followed by a comment from yourself on the same date which suggests the previous comment related to the company requesting the investor transfer from a Loan note to equity. This is continued for several posts after. Am I right? If not I am confused as to why you have raised this as there is no reference to it in previous comments. Can you clarify your comments please?

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  31. The poster asked for their post to be deleted and I was happy to. They didn’t ask me to remove my (already posted) reply. Which is good as I didn’t have to say no.

    As you guessed the investor had received a debt-equity swap offer, as have others.

    Subsequent replies were to a different poster.

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  32. What a great service this article and the comments provide! For “London Rooftop Apt.” High Street Group (via WestportInvest) offers 22% in year 7. Well, I have some land in Florida…

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  33. Thanks for your prompt reply and confirmation Brev. Whilst I have no evidence or reason to doubt the previous investment track record, everything I have researched about this company tells me it is under stress – which will be no surprise to you. Also a few years ago I was scammed by a Chartered Accountant called Darren Upton (Google his name – your screen will light up!) who marketed a FOREX scheme. I vowed never to be caught out again. I mention this because of Paul Davies’s comments about the two previous investments he lost. Is he hoping it will be third time lucky with HSG?

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  34. The more I look at it the less sense I can make out of it
    HSG Net Investment assets 41million. Historic cost of these investments100K. Investment assets have been revalued by the director
    Almost all the companies under the umbrella have a negative Net worth
    Hotel 52 ( a brand of HSG)whilst marketed as a glossy hotel looks more like a B& B ( google street view)
    Does anyone know if these guys have completed any projects. Lots of refrence to Hadrians Toweer which is the only development that seems to be taking shape

    Friends of mine recommended this loan note as they have been paid back, I feel this was in the early stages. I feel now the balance sheet has been propped up by a gross revaluation to attract more loans. Essentially looking like a façade to keep the loan note scheme going.

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  35. I just read all the comments on this thread. There are lots of insinuations flying around that ‘of course, all bonds/loan notes are bent’ but not pointing out that you could have been investing with Woodford or Carillion…..

    The key thing is a lack of facts from those making accusations and then on top of that the sheer ignorance shown by people like Louis who are clearly ‘selling’ this investment and have no idea.

    There is NO first legal charge, investors have a debenture under a corporate guarantee. The valuations are provided by a third party accountant but caveated heavily.

    HSG may be guilty of using poor brokers with no knowledge of investment but their model of selling PRS to institutions is three years ahead of the game if you read reports from people like Savills, Knigh Frank. Their Milton Keynes site is nearly finished and if you live near Newcastle you’ll be able to see Hadrian’s Tower.

    Let’s be honest, most slagging this off are probably crap IFAs who sell crap pensions with no returns of life insurance bonds without understanding the tax position and those singing its praises are probably selling the loan note.

    Bottom line guys, if you are too poor to lose your funds don’t invest in this, or in any IFA recommended crap, just pay off your mortgage and win!!!

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  36. HSG has a Fixed Investment Asset value of 41million. I quote ” Investment in subsidiary companies have been valued on a fair value basis. These valuations have been calculated by the directors with reference to the fair value of the net assets of each company and projected profitability. The historic cost of the investment is £100k. This is a quote directly from their accounts in companies house. It seems to be based entirely on Director valuation on future profits whilst the historic cost of investment is almost 400 times less. I think this is very explicit and cant imagine why anyone would consider this low risk.

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  37. Thanks for all the comments and analysis above and they are really useful and helpful. I have been searching for information about HSG Loan Notes investment, I have now decided not to invest this. Thanks to everyone’s participation!

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  38. As an investment property broker I can tell you I would not touch anything of HSG and therefore would not sell it to my clients.

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  39. Really helpful information thank you Brev. I was very dubious of HSG (being marketed to me by Direct Property Investment) … sounded too good to be true and I suspect that it is just that.

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  40. Recently looking at investing in HSG however after reading a lot of this thread and doing my own research I am turned off. I am now leaning towards my other investment option ‘Hunter Jones’. Does anyone have useful information regarding investing with HJ or why not to do it. I have seen numerous good reviews and have had informative conversations with representatives. From what I have seen they seem professional and know what they are doing. However looks can be deceiving hence why I am looking for more knowledgeable input . Any guidance appreciated.

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  41. I am now leaning towards my other investment option ‘Hunter Jones’. Does anyone have useful information regarding investing with HJ or why not to do it.

    Hunter Jones is not an investment option but an intermediary.

    A Times article from 2016 states that Hunter Jones is an introducer for Empire Property Concepts.

    Empire Property Concepts was reviewed here.

    If Hunter Jones are now marketing anything different then feel free to forward the details.

    Reviewers on Google reviews accuse the company of cold-calling them, an accusation Hunter Jones does not deny (its defence is that their mailing list was supplied by a third party, however calling people up from a database supplied by a third party is still cold-calling). The general rule is not to invest with any company that uses cold-calling. See a regulated Independent Financial Adviser.

    I have seen numerous good reviews and have had informative conversations with representatives.

    Reviews on the likes of Trustpilot and Feefo are completely worthless and not a substitute for due diligence.

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  42. Where is all this nonsense coming from?!

    I have been an investor since 2012 and invested in multiple investments that High Street have put forward. I have always had my money and interest returned. I have money in the 12 month loan note as well as the new Manchester site they have just launched.

    They have dealt with large institutions which are on such sites as the Financial Times (I was shown this by my IFA – https://markets.ft.com/data/announce/full?dockey=1323-13314084-4CUVO3CPTKIH1QU7D5A9THB026) No I imagine such companies as this would not deal with anyone shoddy!

    I believe these accusations are being made by people with hidden agendas and it isnt fair to worry existing investors like myself.

    Happy to speak to anyone direct about my experience!

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  43. @ Peter Mason: Is your “IFA” actually authorised by the FCA? The fact that HSG can offload one site to a grown-up developer doesn’t mean that the rest of their operations are going to be successful.

    Indeed, I wonder why they don’t sell other sites and avoid taking on the development risk in the present economic environment; one possible explanation is of course that they can’t (or can’t now – that RNS you linked to is two years old), another is that the sale of that site is what’s funding your interest and redemptions and HSG is eating its own capital to keep you sweet for the long game. I’ll grant that other, more benign, explanations are also possible – but it all comes down to due diligence in the end.

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  44. Wow what a roller coaster of comments! The projection of many of these these questions about HSG in such a demonizing way is really fantastical. Reminds me of the days of that singing pig site.

    Ok i’m only in my 40’s so maybe not lost as many times as some investors but it would be prudent to ask for answers not suggest a nightmare at every turn before you know it is.

    I am typically a skeptical realist so when a fellow investor chum told me they put money in HSG last year I took a look. (I should point out I was offered HSG about 4 maybe 5 years ago and due to the limited track record I immediately dismissed it for a flash in the pan scam) The next time I saw him I asked him some gritty questions that scared the life out of him! Nothing too serious just regarding lending money for distressed plots and the fact that the down valued sites as security wasn’t offering the security he thought he had due to potential liquidation and the charges by the liquidators who take their exuberant fees before he would get his money back and and a few other ‘holes’ that i’d pulled up as a skeptic without reading and understanding more about HSG.

    A couple of weeks later he came back saying ask them, they explained a whole lot to me that I couldn’t memorize but it made me comfortable. The strategy they employ and the work they do before raising cash showed me how the site was making profit immediately without scratching the ground, that helped me feel secure, talk to them they explain it better than me.

    I called him out immediately and said what profit! A distressed site is worth what someone pays for it no more. He rabbited on about planning value added and valuations they had and had clearly been explained a lot by someone. I never did call as I’d just gained planning and had a small development of my own to work through. Wish I hadn’t it became complex! But that’s another story.

    Based on the comment above yes prior performance and relationships are no indication of future etc etc etc but the model and explanation and paperwork that HSG have projected since i first looked at it excels in comparison to many similar out there (yes I have an spam box full of agents pitching the crap out of me I delve into from time to time). That’s what made me look more closely as I’ve seen very pretty pictures painted be terrible in the past. I was rather surprised to see the paper trail match and when posed with what I foresaw to be awkward questions, really interesting and well thought through responses were provided.

    Remember property can take a turn, delays can happen. Unlike mine which slaughtered my returns,as someone said earlier who said had a delay with one HSG return they appear to pay on time or with additional interest accrued if a delay occurs. As that delay is within the terms and adds additional profit it’s worked better for them than my development did (I’ve not given investing in myself a sour taste have I!) so their track record for several years appears good.

    The previous relationships with large institutions are an indication that the move to equity could provide an opportunity for increased profit, as they can clearly play with the big boys. The sight of building happening and things not being off plan with little or no building also suggests this is not a Harlequin’esque nightmare too.

    Maybe someone should ask for the company to comment, not an agent, not a customer who only knows bits, and gain a true picture of their thoughts on all the concerns raised in this thread. A benign explanation may well provide someone with a handsome return. My development delays are nearly done and if I gain a generous valuation and make more than I think I have I will take another look here for further damning ideas and I’ll then speak to HSG, as the level of return for sitting on my bum not getting upset about delays to builds or window manufacturers getting things wrong and and and seems like a whole lot less stress to me.

    But hey I’m just a 40 something wannabe UHNW entrepreneur so what do I know ;o)

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  45. Very interesting reading all the various responses. I have looked into them a few times (FJP are like dogs with bones) but something keeps niggling away at me that prevents me investing. Not sure what and it might cost me a decent return but just maybe it has saved me a few grand. According to FJP they have never missed paying out on the last 7 projects and they have GDV of over £1billion so obviously they seem to be doing something correct. Maybe I think that eventually the love of PRS will diminish as folk want to live in a house rather than an apartment, maybe there’s an economic downturn just around the corner and how could HSG cope with that. The hotels side of things looks ok however they are all refurbished buildings that used to be hotels and one wonders about the sustainability over the long term.
    It would be great to keep this thread going and folk add to it with anything they find.
    good luck

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  46. If Ultra High Net Worth investors want to bung a few million of their tens or hundreds of millions into a very high risk speculative opportunity, in an attempt to add a few millions or tens of millions onto their pile of cash, it’s a free country.

    What I struggle with is where this investment, which is sufficiently high risk that it needs to offer returns of 15% per year escalating to 22% to attract investors, is described in reassuring terms like ” the model and explanation and paperwork that HSG have projected since i first looked at it excels in comparison to many similar out there”.

    The fact that a company has been going for six years proves absolutely nothing.

    It is not difficult for a company which claims to be worth a billion pounds to throw a few buildings up. The question is whether developing these buildings generates sufficient EBITDA to sustain borrowing rates of up to 22% per year.

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  47. I am an investment agent and I raise investment into the High Street Group. I have done so for over 2 years and have many clients in the investment. Around 80% of my clients are in previous loan notes from them have ALL been paid back. Most of the have reinvested as they were pleased with the investment.

    To see such damning claims by anonymous people is unfair to HSG, agents like myself and indeed the clients who have invested. It is nothing short of unfounded scaremongering.

    I am heavily involved in the company and have nothing but admiration for how they operate and most importantly treat their clients.

    Also Jonty the Gary Forrest you incorrectly and libellously refer to as a con man is NOT the HSG Gary Forrest. He was a con man totally unconnected from HSG. Look it up on google! NOT THE SAME CHAP!

    Happy to speak to anyone one to one on the matter.

    Paul

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  48. Wrong question Queenie. The smart question for Paul West is “what do you mean when you describe yourself as an investment agent?” Sounds to me like that’s synonymous with “unregulated introducer”. Or, to translate that into Paul Lewis-style plain English, “commission-driven salesman”.

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  49. Paul West, did you share with your clients you placed into the loan notes that 12% of there money went straight into your pocket?

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  50. I asked another provider Trish from introductable months back what her commission was and she was “Not aware” so over to you Paul West then explain how they manage to pay back 15% with any other sourcing fees

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  51. HSG is a house of cards, it is going to fail and one day it will fall spectacularly.

    Every claim they make is easily researchable to find it’s untrue; easy example, look at the houses/flats in the previous projects (minimal, and some still for sale (Aidan Gardens)), then check where they claim to have built 100 homes a year etc.
    Look at the B&B style rates of their hotels, then check the valuation of their “hospitality” for 3 B&Bs.

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  52. It’s vitally important to have your wits about you and do granular due diligence on investment opportunities. I am 100% with Bond Review that not enough investors do anything like enough research or ask enough questions into the bonds and other investment vehicles they plough into.

    However, being snooty and derriding every single investment opportunity, always obsessing about potential downsides while seldom having anything positive to say about any firm or person associated with a business, is a quintessential British attitude and not particularly productive. The downside of such a cynical and bitter and twisted attitude, barking from the sidelines from one’s bedroom computer at any and every company that is trying to do anything ambitious in this world, such as much-needed property developments, is that one is unlikely to be successful in life.

    If I had adopted such a cynical and bitter stance towards any and every opportunity in life, I would not now be a multi-millionaire having started off being raised in a council estate in Glasgow. To get anywhere in this world and to earn a higher yield on any endeavour you have to be willing to take meaningful risks – and, yes, of course, they should be very meticulously researched, astute risks, not silly, ill-thought-out ones.

    For what it’s worth, I investigated The High Street Group in tremendous detail and my first two bond investments and returns were paid in full, on time. No issues whatsoever. I have invested in their latest bond round.

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  53. Gerald

    I applaud your drive and success. But I’d applaud it considerably more if you gave your full real name so i could independently corroborate your claims (because that’s *my* vitally important granular due diligence).

    Perhaps also (or alternatively) you’d like to explain why the general scepticism in this place about High Street Group is misplaced, and/or why your historical experience of getting your money back is still likely to be valid for present investors as the apparent risk premium (i,plied by the offered interest rate) keeps rising.

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  54. However, being snooty and derriding every single investment opportunity, always obsessing about potential downsides while seldom having anything positive to say about any firm or person associated with a business, is a quintessential British attitude and not particularly productive.

    I have no idea if that’s aimed at me but this blog doesn’t review every single investment opportunity.

    Mainstream shares, bonds, property commercial and residential, EISes, VCTs etc are not reviewed here as they have enough coverage already. This is a blog about unregulated investments and describes both the benefits and the risks of such investments in full (the benefits in this case are the interest rates listed at the top of the review).

    barking from the sidelines from one’s bedroom computer at any and every company that is trying to do anything ambitious in this world

    You certainly can’t fault a company that needs to return up to 22% per year from its investments on top of its costs to maintain its coupons to investors for ambition.

    If I had adopted such a cynical and bitter stance towards any and every opportunity in life, I would not now be a multi-millionaire having started off being raised in a council estate in Glasgow.

    And such a modest one to boot.

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  55. Yep that’s the one. Lengthy assets which don’t match companies house. What commissions do these phone robbers earn?

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