Beware investment opportunities that look too good to be true

Just saying “no” to seductive offers is the best way to preserve your dignity – and your money

Plant Growing In Savings Coins -

When it comes to your finances, just saying “no” to seductive offers is the best way to preserve your dignity – and your money.

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In May a firm called Lendy called in the administrators. It had offered returns of 8% to 13% and said all investments were secured on property.

Now around 20,000 investors wait to see what, if anything, they will get back of their £152m.

The administrators estimate it will be on average around half their money but that is not certain.

Lendy was fully authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority on 11 July 2018. Less than a year later it collapsed.

Being authorised does not mean the investment is safe but you should check any claim a firm makes about being authorised at register.fca.org.uk.

Avoid any firm that compares its returns to cash interest rates. That is misleading. The FCA forced Lendy to change its name from Saving Stream because it thought that might confuse people. Never assume an investment that is said to be secured on property (or anything else) is safe.

At least 35 out of the 54 firms  involved in  Lendy’s property investments have  had administrators or receivers appointed. Dangerous investments typically offer returns of 8% to 15%. At those rates, always assume you may lose most or all of your money.

Slick websites are easy to make and do not mean the investment is safe or even that the firm is legitimate. Later this year new rules will mean that no retail investor – that’s you and me – can invest more than 10% of their spare cash into one sort of risky investment called “peer-to-peer” lending unless they have taken financial advice or show they are “sophisticated” investors.

Never invest without consulting a good, independent financial adviser. Never agree that you are a sophisticated investor unless you can afford to lose the money you invest.

Never invest in products not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Lendy’s were not. But those who took independent advice will be covered.

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REMEMBER the deadline for claiming mis-sold PPI is 29 August. Free help at fca.org.uk/ppi