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Expat Investor : March 2008
expatinvestor.com 4 EXPAT INVESTOR March 2008 Fast Facts 33002 Fast Facts 33130 Focus, our award-winning, innovative and cost-effective platform, is a fully integrated banking and investment service. Designed to make your life easier, Focus can save you time and money. To find out more about our first class wealth management services, call us on+44 (0) 1624 645000 or visit www.fairbairnpb.com Focus Have Focus. Achieve More. (EXINV) First class service from the Best International Investment Platform Provider 2007 Winner Best International Private Bank Best International Investment Platform Provider 2006 Winner Best Offshore Bank Best Commitment to Service 2005 Winner Best Offshore Bank Best Offshore Bank Product (FOCUS) Best Internet Service 2004 Winner Best Offshore Bank 2003 Winner Best Offshore Bank Best Offshore Bank Product (FOCUS) 2002 Winner Best Offshore Bank Best Offshore Bank Product (FOCUS) 2001 Winner Best Offshore Banking Product Range distinctly different Fairbairn Private Bank is a registered trade name of Fairbairn Private Bank (IOM) Limited and Fairbairn Private Bank Limited. Fairbairn Private Bank (IOM) Limited is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission for Banking and Investment Business and its principal place of business is in the Isle of Man. Fairbairn Private Bank Limited is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission to carry on deposit-taking and investment business under the Banking Business (Jersey) Law 1991 and Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998 respectively. Registered office: Fairbairn House 31 The Esplanade St Helier Jersey. Latest audited accounts are available on request. OFFSHORE NEWS AND VIEWS Google is a wonderful invention, but search results can understandably be distorted sometimes, with the highest number of hits scored by people or businesses simply because they have a website. There are exceptions, of course. Search for William Shakespeare, a stranger to electricity, let alone the internet, and the list of hits goes on and on because of the amount written about him by others. And Leonard Berney falls squarely into this second category. He has no personal website. Nor does his company, IPM Investment Management Program. Yet he scores 513 hits on Google, simply because he has attracted so much attention from others. He has brought some of this attention on himself. One public relations company sums him up by saying: 'Leonard Berney is a British private investor and a Traded Options and Futures expert living in Spain.' Another headlines a press release about Berney with the claim: 'Private Investor Achieves 38% Return since 1985.' And that's 38% ayear,bytheway--not38%in23 years! With a track record like this, you might well ask why Berney is not running an investment fund and managing other people's capital as well as his own. Well, he is, and he has done so in the past as well, but his track record is not quite as impressive as his PR machine makes out. Tw enty years ago, Berney was one of the people behind a Marbella- based scheme that ended with investors nursing losses of around 50% of their savings, despite having been told that this could not happen. Then, in the early 1990s, he was back with a new scheme and the claim that he could show annual returns of 41%. This time he used a Surrey address in his advertisements, with the predictable result that the Securities & Investments Board shut him down almost before he got started, on the understandable grounds that he had forgotten to apply for an investment manager's licence. A few years passed until, in the late 1990s, Berney emerged again, this time apparently in Dublin and with the claim to notch up annual returns of 18%. It did not take the Central Bank of Ireland long to notice that, yet again, he was unlicensed, and to find that the address in his advertising was a maildrop. A public warning was promptly issued, bluntly labelling the scheme as 'unlawful', and that was that. Well, that was that until 2003, anyway. For five years ago, Berney was back, this time advertising: 'Invest your capital in a British Government bond and receive a regular monthly income of 12% a year.' Tw elve per cent? From gilt edged stock? It looked impossible, and it was. Only part of investors' capital went into gilts. The rest was used in gambling on whether the FTSE 100- share index would go up or down, and it was his bets that Berney hoped would generate the promised yield. In short, Leonard Berney enjoys gambling with other people's money, and has done so for two decades or more. He is not a stockbroker. He is not authorised as a financial adviser. He is not regulated by any watchdog. And his investors are not protected by any form of compensation scheme. But this has never stopped him. Despite public warnings from financial regulators all over the world, Berney's advertising still pops up.Itmightbeasmalladina newspaper in Singapore. Or emails received by potential investors almost anywhere, still offering his 12% Fund. Google his name and you will find public relations firms promoting his claims. But you will also find official warnings issued in Hong Kong, Ireland, Slovenia, Norway and so on. Not quite as many hits as William Shakespeare yet, but for someone with no web presence of his own, Leonard Berney is quite well known. Or should that be notorious? Readers are invited to contact Tony Hetherington via the editor at email@example.com A gambler who bets with other people's money Financial investigator Tony Hetherington updates readers on the current exploits of one Leonard Berney. 2008 predictions Bank rate to fall to 5% by mid- year Property transactions to fall 15% Fall of 2% in house prices Ray Boulger, Senior Technical Manager at John Charcol, forecasts what we can expect to see in 2008. The Bank Rate will fall to 5% by mid-year and will not increase during the year, although it might fall a little further. The bank rate at 31/12/08 will be 5%. "I predict the net result is that house prices will fall a little in the firsthalfoftheyear--byupto5%-- but by June the fall in bank rate and an easing of the liquidity squeeze will stabilise the market, although it will still be very difficult for sub- prime borrowers. "In the second half of the year transaction levels will improve and prices will partly recover, ending the year down 2%. "As usual there will be significant regional variations and also new- build flats in some city centres will continue to under-perform in view of the over supply of this type of property as a result of the Government's planning policy. Average house prices will fall by 2% in 2008."
January February 2008