Investors have lost around £100m investing in some fifty fine wine companies that have gone bust over the past four years, according to Radio Four programme BBC Money Box. Some have lost well in excess of £100,000 with one investor dropping a cool half million. These companies are unregulated. So there is no compensation scheme available for mis-selling.
The question investors and their advisers must now ask is "Why?" Why are those with spare cash happy to hand over substantial sums on the basis of phone calls and a glossy brochure or website despite warnings against scam booze investment firms going back 15 to 20 years?
Cold calling is the first step
It all starts with a cold call. Salespersons, invariably armed with a script, tell potential investors that interest rates are ultra low and the stock market is ultra volatile. Both statements can be true. It's their fine wine investment "solution" that is worrying. And it is the lack of financial knowledge and advice that allows them to scam people out of sums well into five figures if not higher. Because they are totally unregulated, they can say whatever they want - they have no requirement to issue even the slightest wealth warning or to discover an investor's real needs.
They will say that the way to positive growth is by investing in the fine wines of Bordeaux. They claim expertise going back many years, although Companies House research will often show the directors are in their early 20s and the companies themselves have only been in business for a matter of a few weeks. And they point to indexes which seem to show non-stop growth in wine prices....MOREIf you purchased a case of right bank Petrus and were wise enough to take delivery we are interested, contact information on the left.