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Alternative investment: all that glitters isn’t gold

Jonathan Silverman reviews key steps to protect clients interested in being involved in alternative investment schemes

5 March 2012

The general uncertainty about the stability of the banking sector combined with historically low interest rates has led to a rise in the number of alternative investment schemes for clients with cash to place. These range from precious stones, fine wines and classic cars.

Solicitors need to keep a wary eye when asked to advise clients seeking to become involved in this sector, either those putting a scheme together or those proposing to put money with them if all is not to end in tears. This is especially true when one realises that this is an area of investment that is not necessarily subject to any regulation whatsoever.

Alternative investment schemes that do not involve the sale of securities or equities to the investors are simply unregulated. They can be promoted as widely and aggressively as the commission-driven salesman determine, which brings with it all the inevitable risks of mis-selling.

First, you should carefully rev...

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