Monday, 31 December 2018

Are Top ISA Rates Too Good To Be True? Best ISA rates Review

Are Top ISA Rates Too Good To Be True? If you search on Google for "top ISA rates" or "best ISA rates" then one of the promoted adverts and sometimes one of the high ranking results is a website called Top ISA Rates.




Are Top ISA Rates Too Good To Be True? Best ISA rates Review
Are Top ISA Rates Too Good To Be True? Best ISA rates Review
If you click through and look at the products advertised on the Top ISA rates website then you will see a variety of products listed but no differentiation on their risk or status. Worryingly their website states "Fully secured ISAs. Types: Fixed Rate Interest, High Rate Of Interest, Full Security." This is incorrect as the products listed as not fully secured or having full security. They are products where you can lose 100% of your money.

Until recently the main product they promoted was a company called London Capital & Finance. However this company is now being investigated by Financial Conduct Authority and is not allowed to promote for new business or move any money without prior approval.

So the first item is something called a Blackmore Bond which Top ISA rates describes as a Fixed Rate ISA. This is a very misleading term as there is no such thing - you can have fixed rate accounts in a cash ISA but this is NOT a cash ISA.

Are Top ISA Rates Too Good To Be True? Best ISA rates Review
Are Top ISA Rates Too Good To Be True? Best ISA rates Review
The Blackmore bond should not be promoted to general retail savers as it is a high risk product where you can lose 100% of your money - as London Capital investors are now finding out to their cost. 

It also isn't made clear that the company behind Top ISA Rates website are paid commission for every Blackmore bond customer they introduce which could be a substantial amount of money paid out.

If you are looking for the top ISA rates to get on your cash ISA risk free then you should stick to FSCS protected companies. Sites offering very high rates come with very high risk and you could lose all your money. 

If words like "secure", "guaranteed", "secure" or "safe" are important to you then products such as Blackmore Bonds or other similar unregulated investments should be avoided at all costs.

Top ISA rates scam?
Top ISA rates scam?

Are Direct Property Investments scam bonds?

Are Direct Property Investments selling scam bonds?

It appears that Direct Property Investments have been selling or promoting bonds offered by MJS Capital now known as Colarb. There are many unhappy investors that are complaining that they have not been paid interest on their bonds and are unable to get their money back from MJS Capital.

Remember for any investment - if you want your deposit to be guaranteed then you must use a company that is FSCS protected. Companies that offer unregulated products do not have to meet the strict criteria that applies to regulated companies so can make claims that would not be permitted elsewhere including the use of the word "guaranteed".

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

Blackmore Bonds - Are They Too Good to be True?

With London Capital and Finance, another company offering high rate "guaranteed" bonds being placed under FCA restrictions preventing them from trading or accessing any of their investors money & assets without prior approval the spotlight may switch to Blackmore Bonds that are offering very similar high risk investments to retail investors. The Blackmore Bonds are not deposits and they have the risk as with London Capital Finance that you could lose all your money. It remains to be seen if LCF investors will get any money back from the company.

Unlike LCF though the people behind Blackmore Bonds have a bit more history and a rather chequered past that potential investors may want to consider. Remember that these are high risk investments that should only be sold to High Net Worth or sophisticated investors, they are not suitable for those wanting a bank deposit.

Blackmore bonds seem to be very keen to keep information about their company and their past hidden perhaps so that potential investors in Blackmore Bonds are unable to fully research what they are getting in to.
Blackmore Bonds - Are They Too Good to be True?
Blackmore Bonds - Are They Too Good to be True?

Google shows the links that have been removed from their index on request by the subject of articles by claiming libel or defamation to Google.

https://www.lumendatabase.org/notices/15945293#

These links have all been removed and refer to discussions of Blackmore such as this one showing that they have not been audited and have an apparent hole in their accounts. It's not surprising that they want the articles hidden if they will deter new investors.

https://pension-life.com/blackmore-global-fund-asset-liability-black-hole/

You might wonder if Blackmore Bonds and Blackmore Global are in anyway connected or if it's just a coincidence of naming? 

Well it appears that the same person is behind both companies - Patrick McCreesh



Well worth reading the Blackmore Bonds small print!

Any investment into Blackmore Bond Plc can only be undertaken having completed the full application process within this site and fully read the Prospectus.

The application process includes confirmation that the potential investor meets the criteria to receive such a promotion. 

Neither Northern Provident Investments Limited nor Blackmore Bond Plc offer financial advice. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of this investment, or do not fully understand the terms of this website or of the Prospectus, please consult a financial advisor who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is authorised pursuant to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. 
The Bonds are designed to offer investors security for their investment in the event of insolvency.

However, it is important to understand that all investments involve risk. 

In this website you will find a section dedicated to the risk factors, please read to ensure you fully understand the risks involved.

Capital at Risk. (so not protected as they claim!)

https://pension-life.com/blackmore-bond-shaken-not-stirred-careless-or-stupid/

Sunday, 30 December 2018

London Capital Finance - Will I Get My Money Back?

The FCA have now announced more information about their investigation into London Capital & Finance. They have stopped the company from taking any action on their assets including bank accounts without approval as well as stopping the company from marketing any products.

Many investors are asking if this means they can get their money back or have lost any money invested with London Capital Finance. The truthful answer is that no-one knows at the moment. Many of the investment bonds were fixed term so you could not access your money until the 3 or 5 years was up. The bonds are very high risk so it is possible that they may be worthless like other mini bonds that have gone bust like Provident. However it's also possible that the FCA may give the company a clean bill of health and they continue trading. This may be unlikely as there was obviously a reason the FCA decided to act in the first place - most likely that the bonds were being offered to retail investors without clear enough risk warnings as can be seen in the advert below promoting the bonds.

London Capital Finance - Will I Get My Money Back?
London Capital Finance - Will I Get My Money Back?

https://www.fca.org.uk/news/news-stories/information-london-capital-and-finance-plc-investors

Having done some further investigation it does appear that LCF were very generous with their sponsorship of various horse racing/eventing meetings and also ran corporate hospitality at these types of event. While this is an entirely legitimate activity to carry out it does raise questions about the destination of the money that was taken from investors as it has been alleged that there was little sign of any lending activity taking place and LCF have repeatedly delayed publication of their annual accounts giving no scope to review them.



https://www.an-eventful-life.com.au/ukeurope/other-international-events/london-capital-and-finance-osborne-horse-trials

To quote South of England & Eridge Horse TrialsOnce again we are delighted to announce London Capital & Finance Plc as a major sponsor for our 2018 season. 

They will be sponsoring CIC* and Intermediate sections at this years South of England International in September as well as sponsoring both intermediate and novice sections at South of England (1) on 7th & 8th April and at Eridge Horse Trials and Country Market on 14th & 15th July

A huge thank you to Andrew Thomson and LCF who are also doing an incredible amount in the sport of eventing including title sponsorship of the new Osborne House Horse Trials on the Isle of Wight.

Pop in and see them in their hospitality area next to Show jumping at South of England(1) and have a relaxed chat about what they can do for you on your investment opportunities. 

Monday, 17 December 2018

Brexit - WTO Rules No deal - a Great Option?

Great WTO summary lifted from Twitter:
'Debunking WTO and what “trading on WTO terms” really means...'
As EU members, we participate in over 750 international treaties.
Many relate to trade, enabling us to trade freely with the EU, the EEA,
and 40+ other countries.
Other treaties cover non-trade issues, from air worthiness certificates
to drivers licenses, UK and EU citizens’ rights, food safety,
environmental protections, workers rights, etc.
On Brexit Day, we leave the EU. That means we lose all the benefits
of its treaties. Those treaties are gone in a flash, as if we’d fed them into a
shredder. (That’s not the EU being vindictive, it’s just how the Article 50
process works.)
Even IF we have a transition period, the treaties will already be
gone, but we will be shielded from the immediate shock by the transition
arrangement.
Right now, we share in trade deals with 78 countries (22 more
pending). These deals cover 60.7% of all our of all our goods imports,
and 66.9% of our exports. Overnight, we will lose them all, wave
goodbye to the painstaking gains of over forty years of trade negotiations.
In the absence of trade deals, we will be reduced to trading on
WTO terms. WTO is a complicated system of tariffs and quotas, plus a
baseline set of rules designed to make trade a little less painful and a little
smoother than it otherwise would be.
WTO provides a baseline for trade, but it is the absolute minimum
that all rational countries seek to improve on. That's why everyone's
trying to sign trade deals all the time. The whole point of trade deals is to
improve on the basic terms offered by WTO.
In trade terms, WTO can be likened to fourth division football: it's
definitely a step up from a kick-around in the park using jerseys as
goalposts, but it's by no means a high standard.
Let's talk about tariffs. WTO has an immensely complex schedule of
tariffs, running into thousands of categories. Different products attract
different tariffs. For example, under WTO, cars are subject to tariffs of
10%.
Tariffs are paid by importers, but of course they then turn around
and pass those extra costs onto the consumer.
Right now, UK manufacturers can sell cars to the EU tariff free. But
under WTO, those cars will be subject to 10% tariffs, effectively making
UK-made cars 10% more expensive for EU consumers.
But all the major car manufacturers have manufacturing facilities
elsewhere, including other EU countries. So if we're reduced to trading on
WTO terms, they'll just shift production to the EU and avoid the 10%
tariffs.
WTO gives us the right to control the tariffs on our imports, even
reduce them to zero if we want to.
But that's when the WTO most favoured nation rule kicks in.
"Most favoured nation" is possibly the most misleading expression ever
invented, because what it really means is that we are not allowed to
favour one nation over another in our WTO dealings.
So if for example if we are desperate for cabbages, we can set a
tariff of 0% on them. That makes them cheaper, which stimulates demand
and encourages more producers to send us their cabbages.
But we can't set a tariff of 0% for just one country. If we decide to
drop the tariff on cabbages to 0%, that becomes our new tariff for every
country in the world. So we get flooded with cabbages from the cheapest
producers on the planet.
That's great if you love cabbages, but absolutely devastating if
you're a UK cabbage farmer.
You can't have it both ways. Either you shelter behind tariffs to
protect domestic producers, or you reduce them or cut them to zero
to encourage cheap imports - and destroy your local industry in the
process. The rules of WTO force that tradeoff for every product sector.
But that’s only half the picture. We have no control over other
countries’ import tariffs, i.e. the tariffs imposed on the things UK-based
producers export to them. If we’re trading with them on WTO terms, both
the EU non-EU countries will impose whatever tariffs the WTO
demands.
Overnight, our exports will be more expensive. That, combined
with the fact that we will no longer share common standards with the
markets we export to (also covered by the treaties we will have lost) will
make products manufactured in the UK significantly less competitive in
the global market.
For instance, why would any overseas consumer buy a UK-made car
if they can get exactly the same car from the EU or elsewhere at a lower
cost?
Short answer: they won't.
But what if the EU were to drop their tariff on cars to 0%? That
would help our car producers, because our cars would no longer incur
tariffs.
However, "most favoured nation" would kick in. The EU would be
forced to offer every country in the world 0% tariffs on cars.
The mere notion is absurd. After all, the EU aren't going to leave
their domestic market unprotected just to help the UK. It would be
completely irrational to expect them to.
So, in practice, trading on WTO terms will mean that everything
we make in the UK will be more expensive for overseas consumers at
a stroke. Some industries may be able to reduce their production costs to
offset the tariffs; most will collapse.
And we will be faced with the impossible task of choosing product
by product, industry by industry, which producers to protect by
maintaining our own tariffs, and which to throw to the wolves by cutting
or eliminating our tariffs.
If all of the above sounds grim, that's because it is. There are no
countries in the world that trade exclusively on WTO terms with
other nations. None whatsoever.
Even North Korea has a couple of trade facilitation arrangements.
We will have none. Nothing at all. No country has ever torn up all
its international arrangements before (quite frankly, none have been
crazy enough to). So we will be in a very lonely, exclusive club.
So if somebody tells you the UK will be OK trading on WTO terms,
they either:
A) Don't understand what that means
or
B) Are lying to you
For example, Patrick Minford (of Economists for Brexit) is on
record as stating that WTO would destroy the UK car industry, but that t
would be a price worth paying for the freedom afforded by Brexit.
In other words, Brexiters see manufacturers as collateral damage,
to be swept aside in pursuit of Brexit.
Perhaps you're not so sanguine? Perhaps you would quite like the
UK to keep manufacturing things?
In which case, you need to take heed of just how destructive, how
damaging, trading on WTO terms would be. Estimates for the likely
damage range from 7%-10% of GDP. Even at the low end, that's worse
than the 2008 financial crash.
But unlike the crash, we'd be deliberately, willingly inflicting the
pain on ourselves. Incredible, but true.
And the result would be the return of austerity, not for a few years,
but for decades or generations to come.
WTO: just say no!

Blackmore Bonds Scam Review - Secret Hidden Information!

Blackmore bonds seem to be very keen to keep information about their company and their past hidden perhaps so that potential investors in Blackmore Bonds are unable to fully research what they are getting in to.

Google shows the links that have been removed from their index on request by the subject of articles by claiming libel or defamation to Google.

https://www.lumendatabase.org/notices/15945293#

These links have all been removed and refer to discussions of Blackmore such as this one showing that they have not been audited and have an apparent hole in their accounts. It's not surprising that they want the articles hidden if they will deter new investors.

https://pension-life.com/blackmore-global-fund-asset-liability-black-hole/

You might wonder if Blackmore Bonds and Blackmore Global are in anyway connected or if it's just a coincidence of naming? 

Well it appears that the same person is behind both companies - Patrick McCreesh



Well worth reading the Blackmore Bonds small print!

Any investment into Blackmore Bond Plc can only be undertaken having completed the full application process within this site and fully read the Prospectus.

The application process includes confirmation that the potential investor meets the criteria to receive such a promotion. 

Neither Northern Provident Investments Limited nor Blackmore Bond Plc offer financial advice. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of this investment, or do not fully understand the terms of this website or of the Prospectus, please consult a financial advisor who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is authorised pursuant to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. 
The Bonds are designed to offer investors security for their investment in the event of insolvency.

However, it is important to understand that all investments involve risk. 

In this website you will find a section dedicated to the risk factors, please read to ensure you fully understand the risks involved.

Capital at Risk. (so not protected as they claim!)

https://pension-life.com/blackmore-bond-shaken-not-stirred-careless-or-stupid/

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

London Capital Finance - FCA FSCS Shutdown?

It appears that the FCA have finally taken some action against London Capital & Finance for promoting their bonds to investors that appear to be savings accounts and seriously underplay the risks involved in the investment.

London Capital Finance FCA FSCS Shutdown
London Capital Finance - FCA FSCS Shutdown?
The London Capital Finance website is now showing a message that the FCA have required them to remove all marketing material from their site. Hopefully this means that they will now need to look whether the investors of their bonds have been suitably advised of the risks involved and that they should be significant net worth investors to invest in the schemes.

On its website LCF says its products are aimed at retail clients who are UK taxpayers and who fall in the category of either High Net Worth Individual, Sophisticated, Self Certified Sophisticated or Restricted Investor.

This restriction doesn't appear on any of the London Capital Finance marketing material that is shown in the screen shots below:


London Capital Finance - FCA investigation
London Capital Finance - FCA