Bond Review is now ad-free

About a year ago, when Bond Review’s traffic had started to tick up from “my nan” to “extremely obscure”, I started serving ads via WordPress to cover the costs of hosting the blog.

The revenue from these ads goes up and down (despite the growing readership) and in terms of ad revenue v hosting costs I’m somewhere around break-even.

Put it this way, I’d have to run 100 Bond Reviews before HMRC took an interest.

In terms of time cost I’m several thousand in the red, but that’s not an issue as Bond Review has always been a hobby and was never about money (despite being about money).

I began Bond Review with a simple philosophy: if an hour or two of my time prevents someone from losing a lifetime’s worth of savings, in a high risk investment that wasn’t suitable for them, then it’s a good trade. That still stands.

I was however acutely aware that some of the ads on my blog would be for dubious investments or outright scams – for the same reason these ads appear on Yahoo or the Daily Telegraph or most other places you go on the Internet.

These ads are not selected by me, but are served by a third party based on your browser history. If someone’s been looking at unregulated investments recently then chances are high that the ad platform will show them some more.

Unfortunately I don’t have the time or connections to source my own ads, and the only practical alternative was to fund the blog out of my own pocket, which felt like a step too far.

The larger Bond Review’s readership grows, however, the more I feel uncomfortable with god-knows-what that I can’t even see appearing under my articles.

Consequently I have decided that this is it – no more ads. From today Bond Review will be completely and permanently ad-free and move to a donation model.

(If you’re still seeing ads, try clearing your cache – failing that, you may need to check for your computer for spyware.)

Guardian-style begging ads incoming…

Bond Review is approaching its second birthday and I fully intend to continue bringing you news and reviews from the underscrutinised world of unregulated investments.

I have never taken money in return for coverage negative or positive, and never will.

I’m fortunate that I can afford to pay Bond Review’s costs so far out of my own pocket but can’t guarantee how long that will continue.

So far Bond Review has faced a total of eight separate legal threats or legal attacks aimed at shutting down my entirely factual coverage, plus one or two suspected hacking attempts. Thankfully none of them have so far imperilled my ability to keep the blog up and running.

There were however a few Hero’s Journey moments when I considered pulling the whole thing offline and taking up contract bridge instead. As you can see that didn’t happen.

Support from my readers would go a long way to putting the blog on a stable financial footing and helping it continue into the future.

I don’t expect readers who are here because they’ve lost their money to donate – they’ve spent enough on this sector. This is aimed at the investors and professional advisers who have found my coverage of the sector useful for research and general interest.

A modest one-off donation to Bond Review is a hell of a lot cheaper than a lost investment, and a hell of a lot cheaper than an FSCS levy.

If you have found my coverage valuable, you can now click here to make a one-off or regular donation.

…or not

There won’t be any annoying Guardian- or Wikipedia-style ads constantly popping up all over the place, although I will be adding a monthly reminder about the donate button to the rotation. This will include a word of thanks to anyone who has been kind enough to donate – if they consent to their name being included.

If I don’t get enough to cover the blog’s costs, the ads will not return. If Bond Review becomes unviable I will just shut it down.

But with your support I fully intend to continue for a third year and beyond – for as long as there are unregulated investments being sold to the public about which they need to know the facts.

-Brev

14 thoughts on “Bond Review is now ad-free

  1. hi I will support you with a donation every three months starting and of October just need to sort my debt collection money out which will be repaid by then. I feel without this platform I would certainly not know what the heck was going o so it’s been an enormous help to me with the ability to make contact with others. THANK YOU

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  2. Personally, I don’t mind the Wikipedia style requests. I don’t always respond but I do from time to time as I use it frequently.

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  3. So basically it sounds like some of the ads that you were taking funding from are under the spotlight you’ve panicked and withdrawn it all because of the increasing restrictions being put on the companies ,the introduces and everyone involved with any type of investment and now have the cheek to ask for funding ..

    As you have no name on the website no qualifications ( if you have what FCA exams have you taken )to make any type of decision ….asking for funding is a piss take.

    You are telling us about bad investment ideas. Then you want us to give money to the guy that we have no clue who he is.

    we don’t know what you look like we don’t know what company you work for. Maybe if the general public can have the full due diligence on you and your history maybe the monies will start coming in but until the maybe if the general public can have the full due diligence on you and your history maybe the monies will start coming in.

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  4. So basically it sounds like some of the ads that you were taking funding from are under the spotlight you’ve panicked and withdrawn it all because of the increasing restrictions being put on the companies

    Panicked after a year of running ads with no changes to the relevant regulations. Whatever makes you happy.

    There are no restrictions on running WordAds on a blog. If there were they would be WordAds’ problem and not mine. I could have carried on hosting ads for another five years and beyond if I wanted.

    As you have no name on the website no qualifications ( if you have what FCA exams have you taken )to make any type of decision ….

    My articles list the facts and readers can make up their minds based on the facts, not my authority. Trusting authority over facts is how people lose money in unregulated investments.

    There is no such thing as an FCA exam as the FCA doesn’t set exams, so I guess that’s all we need to know about your grasp of the facts.

    asking for funding is a piss take.

    It’s a free country. If you don’t want to donate then don’t. No need to be all salty about it.

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  5. With that out of the way – I’ve been genuinely overwhelmed by the early response to my switch to a donation model. Thanks to everyone for your support. It means more than you know. 🙂

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  6. I think it would be preferable to serve occasional questionable ads then have your site go under. I’m not sure donations will turn out to be viable model but I hope I am proved wrong. As you say there is a lack of sites warning people about dodgy investments BEFORE they go wrong. Usually they only get mentioned after they have gone bust/done a runner. All the best.

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  7. This is hilarious. The website does not state facts, it states your opinion loosely vailed as “facts”.

    The lion share of your articles are sensationalist pieces and are littered with errors.

    Not every bond has failed. Not every bond is bad. High risk bonds do success…

    Can you explain to the audience why one of the biggest names in this industry, Wellesley…that have taken hundreds of millions of pounds from naive investors has never been reviewed?

    Dont’ you dare mention you thought they were peer to peer. They were a mini bond issuer just like the others, they have now moved to listed bonds but have never had a look in with you?

    Weird huh?

    Why don’t you tell the audience the amount you have taken for not reviewing certain firms?

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  8. The lion share of your articles are sensationalist pieces and are littered with errors.

    Feel free to point out any errors in my pieces.

    Not every bond has failed. Not every bond is bad. High risk bonds do success…

    The only person suggesting every bond has failed and every bond is bad is you. I have never said any such thing.

    Can you explain to the audience why one of the biggest names in this industry, Wellesley…that have taken hundreds of millions of pounds from naive investors has never been reviewed?

    Dont’ you dare mention you thought they were peer to peer.

    If you’re going to answer your own questions then don’t waste my time asking them. There is enough coverage of the P2P market elsewhere.

    Why don’t you tell the audience the amount you have taken for not reviewing certain firms?

    Eleventy billion pounds. Plus £750 from the New Zealand water dudes.

    Your turn.

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  9. Ok you asked me to point out your errors…

    There is one on your reply…you mention “there is plenty of coverage of peer-to-peers” when I asked about Wellesley.

    Welsley offer a property bond that is listed. You know that they do not do peer to peer. [BrevEdit – You were the one who called them peer-to-peer. Further waffle removed. Point out some actual errors or stop wasting everybody’s time.]

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  10. This is the only time I’ll engage with whataboutery. Had Bond Review been launched a couple of years earlier, Wellesley would probably have been reviewed. However, the way their bonds are promoted now just about qualifies as “clear and not misleading”, although it’s not perfect. Looking at their website as it stands, risk warnings are given with equal prominence to the rest of the spiel. If no attempt is being made to conceal the risky nature of the investment, I’m not going to spend time repeating what investors already know.

    Wellesley has also been covered extensively by the P2P sector journals and websites like Which.

    There are only so many hours in the day and I always have investments in my queue that I want to review but can’t currently spare the research time for.

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  11. I think the comments have been quite unfair to Brev. I have been saved from further disasters through Bondreview and only recently followed up a repayment issue and Brev’s analysis was completely accurate.
    I fear that there are a lot of “experts” out there who fear for their commissions when the truth is revealed. Thank you, Brev.
    P.S I’m not getting any commission for this!

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  12. The comments are unfair but not unexpected. I have seen it all before and in my experience bad comments toward someone “exposing” scammers (and yes, I mean scammers) is frequently one of the scammers themselves. Paul Careless launched a scathing attack on Angie Brooks when she exposed his Bait & Switch tactic – https://pension-life.com/blackmore-bond-shaken-not-stirred-careless-or-stupid/ – and now look at him, exposed as the promoter of BlackHole Bonds and LC&F, the latter of which has spectacularly failed, leaving thousands of people possibly facing financial ruin! Knowing the history of tweedledumb & tweedledumber as intimately as I do, I’d wager it’s only a matter of time before BlackHole bonds follows suit – https://bondreview.co.uk/2019/10/01/blackmore-bond-to-put-off-filing-accounts-says-the-times/#comments

    I believe Brev reports quite accurately on these dodgy bonds. As scams go, these mini bonds have become the new black and are springing up like weeds, replacing the previous practice of transferring defined benefit pensions into high risk, offshore unregulated collectives via an intermediate QROP with a useless life bond – many examples of which get reported by Angie Brooks – https://pension-life.com/

    Whilst it might be fair to say, at the moment, “not every bond is bad”, just look back at those reviewed by this site and then look at those that have later been reported to have failed.

    It might be more accurate to say “not every high risk, unregulated bond, has yet proven to be bad”, the emphasis on “yet”. This site does seem to show a trend however and the chickens do seem to come home to roost sooner or later. When a bond fails you generally find it featured here first!

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