Be careful what you invest in

Dec 10, 2015 | Tony Byrne's View

We have many emails and calls each month from people who have received details of various investments offering big returns. One scheme in particular has come to light, where people are being encouraged to invest in renewable energy.

Elysian Fuels is a scheme investing in renewable energy projects in the UK and the USA, in particular a renewable transport fuels refinery and technical centre in Grimsby. The scheme has attracted more than £240m in investment, the majority from SIPPs. However, the scheme has recently been valued at zero. This means that everyone who invested in it has lost all of their money.

Last year we pointed out the risks of investing in foreign property schemes, which, as they are unregulated, pay as much as 15% commission to the ‘adviser’. The largest of these, Harlequin, is still under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office.

If you are offered an investment that promises unexpectedly high returns, please please please let us, or another adviser, check it out for you. In today’s climate of 0.5% interest rates, zero inflation and with the FTSE at a lower level than in 1999, there is no such thing as a big return, or a quick buck.

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