Hanover Merchant Capital Artesian Water – 5.29% per year plus “up to 30% aggregate market return” after two years for investing in mineral water

Hanover Merchant Capital is offering the opportunity to invest in lease-back contracts for the delivery of mineral water from an aquifer in New Zealand, which pay "annuity type" income of 5.29% each year. After two years, the contract is sold for which Hanover Merchant Capital projects "up to 30% aggregate capital return", with the caveat that this is "subject to market prices".

In email promotions, the investment is promoted as offering "NO Capital Depreciation" and "Secure Underwritten Investment".

Continue reading for a review of Hanover Merchant Capital's mineral water investment.

Amicus Investment – unregulated 4% “cash accounts” and 4%-8% loan notes

Amicus Invest offers three unregulated offshore investment products:

  • Amicus Bonus Cash Account: Pays 4% per year interest (3% on balances calculated daily and a further 1% "bonus" on balances calculated quarterly). Funds can be added and withdrawn at any time.
  • Amicus Regular Savings Plan: Pays interest on monthly investments as follows: 6% for a 1 year term, 7% for a 2 year term, 8% for 3 years, 9% for 5 years and 10% for 10 years. Early withdrawals are permitted but forfeit all interest accrued.
  • Amicus Single Investment Plan: Fixed term investments paying interest as follows:
    • 3 months - 4% per annum
    • 6 months - 5%pa
    • 1 year - 6.25%pa
    • 2 years and 3 years: "Guaranteed Total Return of 15.00% (equal to 7.25% pa.) and 26.00% (equal to 8.09% pa.)"
    • 5 years and 10 years: "Guaranteed Total Return of 45.00% (equal to 8.75% pa.) and 100.00% (equal to 9.50% pa.)" - these numbers don't add up, as a 45% return over 5 years is 7.7% compounded, and a 100% return over 10 years is 7.1% compounded.
Continue reading for a review of Amicus Invest's cash accounts and bonds.

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.