Have you been offered the opportunity of investing in Australian land?
Maybe an adviser has told you it’s a low risk investment?
If you have, be very cautious as many of these investment schemes are a lot riskier than they appear.
What are these Australian investment schemes?
Australia has seen a period of good economic growth, largely because of high demand for its natural resources, particularly from China.
It would therefore seem that there is ample opportunity to invest in Australian land and see a high return -indeed several financial advisers have been promoting such schemes as easy and low risk.
However NeglectAssist, a law firm which specialises in protecting people who have lost money following negligent financial advice, have had two of their clients stung by these schemes.
One client was offered a ‘Green Oil Investment’ scheme which involved putting in a minimum of £10,000 to purchase a defined area of plantation where trees were being grown to produce bio-fuel.
The investor was to receive rental payments for either five or eight years and they then would sell back the land.
Another one of NeglectAssist’s clients invested £30,000 in Australian farmland after being told it was a low risk investment.
What was wrong with these schemes?
The first client, who invested in the green oil plantation, lost their £10,000.
The scheme had turned out to be high risk and totally unregulated – there had been delays in the harvest which meant the companies did not have the money to pay the investors.
The case was much the same for the second scheme. It was recommended to the client by Alhaurin Wealth Planning (a company not on the Financial Services Register of authorised firms) as a low risk investment.
However it turned out that the scheme was unregulated and the documents misleading, resulting in the client losing the £30,000 they put in.
Tim Wixted, senior partner at NeglectAssist, said: “Many people are happy to back risky investments because of the potential high returns.
“But where people are mis-sold such risky investments as safe is a big problem, and there are legal avenues available to hold the adviser accountable and often most or all of the reinvestment can be reclaimed.”
What should I do if I’ve been mis-sold an investment?
These Australian schemes are only examples, there are plenty of other investment schemes around which could misleadingly be sold as low risk.
If you have been sold an investment that you believe was much riskier than you were told (particularly if you have it in writing that it is low-risk) then you could be entitled to compensation for mis-selling.
Speak to a lawyer about gaining compensation from the company that has sold this investment.