Holiday Property Bonds – bonds paying yield in discounted holidays

HPB Assurance Limited offers a Holiday Property Bond in which investors invest at least £5,000 in a bond holding holiday properties and securities. The bond pays no yield; instead, investors have the right to stay in HPB's properties for a "no profit user charge", which would presumably be less than they would pay to a conventional holiday provider for an equivalent holiday.

While at times its literature urges prospective investors to "only consider it for its holiday benefits", the bond is structured as a life assurance bond (aka an insurance bond) which invests in shares and holiday properties, and terms like "investors" and "bondholders" are used liberally in its literature.

If it looks like an investment, and quacks like an investment, and I have to put money in upfront in the hope of a return (cheaper holidays than I'd get elsewhere + an eventual surrender payment) like an investment, it's an investment.

HPB Management Ltd has been in existence since 1981 and is fully regulated by the FCA. This puts it outside the scope of what I usually review on this blog, but the unusual nature of the investment, the fact that it's advertised directly to the general public via the colour supplements and suchlike, and the fact that these bonds are largely ignored by the usual advice channels, was enough to pique my interest.

Continue reading for a review of Holiday Property Bonds.

London Property Bonds (now LP Bonds) files first accounts

London Property Bonds offered unregulated bonds paying quarterly interest of 8% per annum to the public "to benefit from the property market in Wimbledon and surrounding areas". The offer closed in 2016.

The company was renamed LP Bonds plc in December 2017 and has now filed its first accounts with Companies House, up to 30 November 2016.

The accounts reveal that the company raised a total of £489,000 via its 8% bonds, well below the £1 - £3 million it was targeting in 2016.

As at November 2016, the company's liabilities exceeded its assets by £466,000 - but of course, with the bonds not due to be paid back until 2021, it is very early days. The company made a net loss of £479,000, mostly representing administrative expenses.

Continue reading...

REWS (Renewable Energy Waste Solutions UK plc) – unregulated bonds offering up to 12% per year

REWS (Renewable Energy Waste Solutions UK plc) is offering 2 year and 4 year bonds paying interest as follows:

  • 2 year bonds: 8% if income is paid out twice a year, 9% if income is rolled up and paid out at the end, 10% paid out twice a year for investments over £100,000
  • 4 year bonds: 10% if income is paid out twice a year, 11% if income is rolled up and paid out at the end, 12% paid out twice a year for investments over £100,000
  • Continue reading for a review of REWS' bonds.

Prime ISA – unregulated investment in a data centre offering 7% per year

Prime ISA (a trading name of Northern Provident Investments Limited) is offering investment in bonds issued by Prime ISA Bond Co 1 Limited.

The website primeisa.co.uk describes the offering as 7% per year after three years. The PDF brochure, however (available from the same website under "Download our free investor guide") describes the offering as 6% per year over five years.

Continue reading for a review of Prime's bonds.

EcoCrops International – investment in Estonian forestry plots projecting 17.19% returns

EcoCrops International offers investment plots for sale in Estonian forestry at €8,200 for a 1 acre plot. The investment case is that after 3-5 years the plots will be harvested and the timber converted into wood pellets for biofuel.

EcoCrops International projects that after the plots are sold, investors will receive €11,280 from the sale of the pellets and €5,000 for the land. A 5% fee will be deducted, leaving the investor with €15,466. This is described as a 17.19%pa return, which suggests a 4 year investment timeframe. Elsewhere the literature states that EcoCrops targets a 3-5 year period before harvesting takes place.

Continue reading for a review of the EcoCrops International investment opportunity.

RVS Trading Systems – trading software delivering 225% per year returns?

RVS offers two software packages - the RVS Closing Price System and the RVS Day Trading System - which claim to allow users to make money through share trading.

Forum posts suggest that RVS are asking for £4,925 for the Closing Price System, with a further £4,925 if the user successively generates £30,000 in profit within the first two years.

Continue reading for a review of RVS' trading software.