Monday, 18 November 2019

Buy2Let Cars Investment Seminar - Is it a scam?

Buy2Let Cars are running various investment seminars to attract new investors. If you are considering an investment with them and wondering if it is a scam it's worth remembering that the investment has the potential to lose ALL your money as investors in London Capital and Finance are finding out to their cost. This isn't to suggest that Buy2Let cars are doing anything illegal but the potential to lose all your money is possible for all unregulated bond schemes.

There is a full review of Buy2Let Cars on the BondReview website which gives all the information that will help you make a decision but this is NOT a risk free investment and is not covered by FSCS.

The cars apparently funded by these bonds are to people with very poor credit who cannot access elsewhere. Not exactly a low risk proposition!

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

UK Models - Is it a Modelling Agency Portfolio Scam?

A website called UK Models is once again using Google adverts to sell their modelling portfolio services by giving the impression that they are a model agency and can give assessments of modelling potential.

UK Models - Is it a Modelling Agency Portfolio Scam?
UK Models - Is it a Modelling Agency Portfolio Scam?
UK models are not a modelling agency. They are a front for photographic studios, previously Blue Rooms/Pure Space studios in London that sell expensive portfolios to wanna-be models. You do not need to buy a portfolio to approach modelling agencies.

Although the UK Models website does say that they are not a model agency they also then use the words "Apply Now", "Submit your application" which imply that you are applying to them for something.

UK Models are a photo studio selling portfolio shoots at high prices - that's their business. You don't need to apply to shop at Tesco and you don't need to apply to a photo studio to pay them large amounts of money to have a photo shoot.

Everyone who applies is offered a photo shoot - that's their business. Tesco don't turn customers away and neither do UK Models.

Be very wary if you apply, you will be asked to pay money for a deposit. You do not need to pay to apply to a genuine model agency.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Blackmore Bond Interest Delayed Again

Reports from unhappy investors are suggesting that Blackmore Bond Interest payments have been delayed again. This is now the second time in a row that investors have not been paid their quarterly bond coupon interest and this time a different reason has been given.

This time investors have been told in advance by Blackmore Bond that the interest payment due on 31st October will be delayed until 29th November allegedly due to an unnamed development not completing on time.

Blackmore Bond Interest Delayed Again
Blackmore Bond Interest Delayed Again
Investors are likely to be hoping that this isn't a precursor to Blackmore Bond being unable to repay the capital that becomes due on their bonds in 2020.

More details from the Evening Standard here

Monday, 14 October 2019

eBay Global Shipping Program Problems - Avoid Like the Plague!

After picking up a friend's car with wrecked engine I've been selling lots of car parts on eBay. All has generally gone well and I've more than covered the cost of the car but the biggest problem and hassle has been eBay Global Shipping programme.

When selling on eBay I tend to only sell to the UK, it's much simpler and avoids the hassle of international postage. However when selling car parts I often used the eBay mobile app to list items as it meant I could take photos and instantly list them without needing to upload to my computer.

The big, big problem with the eBay mobile app is that it turns on the Global Shipping option by default. What a disaster! I've only had 2 items selling via GSP but both of them have been a nightmare!
eBay Global Shipping Program Problems
eBay Global Shipping Program Problems 

One item was bought by someone in Italy. All shipped fine and delivered ok but when the buyer tried the part they found it wasn't suitable for a left hand drive car. In the circumstances I decided to refund  the item cost to keep them happy. Problem is that the cost of shipping internationally isn't see by the seller and is sent to eBay directly. So I refund the item but the buyer appears to be out of pocket from the shipping paid to eBay and blaming me for it!

The second item was sent to a buyer in France. All shows as being received at the Global Shipping programme hub at Lichfield and sent on to the buyer. Three weeks later I get an email from eBay that the buyer has opened a dispute because the item hasn't be delivered. I've fulfilled my side of the transaction, posted and had proof of delivery in the UK but thanks to GSP I've now got a dispute on my account and the money is being blocked from my Paypal account.

Another 2 weeks pass and the package is finally delivered to the buyer but they've now left poor feedback (the first ever poor feedback in 15 years of eBay sales) and I've still got the money locked out in my Paypal account.

All in all, the eBay Global Shipping programme is a complete disaster from my perspective and I'd strongly recommend anyone considering using it to be very careful and I'd certainly recommend avoiding.

Make sure you turn off the Global Shipping programme option when you list via the mobile app!

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Boris Skewered By His Strategy Backfiring?

Has Boris Johnson's outsmarted by MPs and been too clever for his own good?

By preventing the government from rushing headlong into a no deal situation MPs have narrowed down Boris Johnson's options but he has now boxed himself in by proroguing parliament which limits the time available to pass legislation that could enable a General Election.

The government's attempt to call a General Election via the Fixed Term Parliament Act has failed so other options would be needed but by suspending parliament next week there is unlikely to be sufficient time to do so beforehand meaning an election on 15th October could now be unlikely.

Boris Skewered By His Strategy Backfiring?
Boris Skewered By His Strategy Backfiring?
It's an unusual situation with the government wanting to call an election but as the government has no majority with the date entirely now in the control of the opposition who could wait until the most opportune time.

Sacking so many Conservative MPs having already lost your majority, proroguing parliament when you may need it to sit to pass your own laws, sacking staff and marching them off site by police and repeatedly misleading your own MPs hardly seems to be a winning strategy. Maybe Dominic Cummings isn't so good in government after all.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Boris Johnson - His Secret Brexit Strategy for Parliament?

With the announcement this week that Boris Johnson was proroguing parliament with a new Queen's Speech on 14th October there was one element that seems to have been missed from the discussion about the implications.

Theresa May's government brought the Withdrawal Agreement to Parliament where it was rejected 3 times and due to a ruling by the Speaker could not be brought back again for a further vote in that session.

I've not seen any mention on the major news channels that the prorogation of Parliament means that a new session begins and with it the opportunity to bring back the Withdrawal agreement for a final time.

Despite his current claims of dissatisfaction over the agreement Boris Johnson has previously voted for it so can't be that dead set against it. I suspect that one strategy he may be looking to follow could be to give MPs a final decision between the existing Withdrawal Agreement and leaving with No Deal with the deadline days away piling on the pressure.

The EU Council meeting is scheduled for 17/18 October where any revised agreement could be signed off. I suspect that this is unlikely except for some possibly minor tweaks that may give Boris Johnson some wiggle room to claim victory.

Following the summit Boris Johnson could return to Parliament and give MPs an ultimatum - Vote for the Withdrawal Agreement or face the consequences of leaving with no deal on 31st October.
Any MPs wanting to avoid the impact of No Deal would have very little choice other than to accept the Withdrawal agreement that they have previously rejected. 
Some hardliners like Jacob Rees Mogg that are now in government may even toe the line but ERG members like Steve Baker who stayed outside appear likely to continue to vote down the deal.

So do you think this is a realistic scenario? What flaws are there in this analysis?

Monday, 5 August 2019

Blackmore Bond in Trouble? Late Interest Payments for Investors

Further Update - Weds 14th August - some investors are still saying that they have not yet received their interest due from Blackmore and have had no reply from the company.

UPDATE - as of Weds 7th August the interest payment has now been made by Blackmore Bond.

Another company promoted by Surge Financial, the agent behind sales of London Capital and Finance was Blackmore Bond. According to reports from investors on the Trust Pilot and BondReview sites Blackmore Bond have been late paying interest due on 31st July. If Blackmore are unable to make interest payments it doesn't bode well for capital repayments due in 2020

Blackmore Bond in Trouble?

Blackmore Bond in Trouble? Late Interest payments

Blackmore were offering similarly high rates of interest as LCF but claimed they were making returns of over 50% to pay back investors as well as their 25% commission fees to Surge Financial. Time will tell if they are going the same way as LCF and heading for administration but history doesn't paint a happy picture for high risk bonds that are late paying interest to investors.

As with London Capital and Finance it's very sad to see the comments from investors on Trustpilot who clearly had no idea what they were invested in.

Northernlight Surety insurance Blackmore
Northernlight Surety insurance Blackmore

Some investors seem to believe that their investment is covered by insurance

As per other posted reviews, no payment on July 31st, no information why. They say they were insured investors will find out shortly. Anyone got any information on how to claim if worst comes to worst, it would be appreciated.
I suspect that they will be sadly disappointed if they find out that the insurance company either doesn't exist, has no money or has not been paid the premium as has happened with other bonds from other companies.

Where was the Blackmore Bond insurance company called Northernlight Surety based again?

Northernlight Surety Company is a highly specialized mono-line operation providing personalized bond solutions for private enterprises worldwide. We are domiciled in Costa Rica

Investors may want to investigate the details of Northernlights Surety company although if they had done due diligence before investing they will already know the information.