Ethical Forestry Investment SilverBeard

About 2 years ago I invested in ethical forestry as the returns over 12 and 24 years were forecast to be good, new skills and work was/is provided to the local communities and the environment was being well managed. I have recently seen that similar investments in agriculture appear to be scams with promised investment not made by the companies.

I invested with Ethical Forestry and they provide regular updates and appear to be legitimate and professional but with returns being some time away I have no way of knowing. Has anybody any knowledge of the company - such as having gained returns from their investment?

Have you tried Google?

Another area that concerns us is the growth of unauthorised investment schemes, especially in forestry, which are marketed as ethical. There are a number of examples in the market place but Ethical Forestry is one of the worst. Investors need to be very wary of schemes of this type as the website and marketing literature boast of secure high returns with no risk warnings at all. Additionally the product is described as ‘SIPP approved’ when there is no such thing as ‘SIPP approved’ and many SIPPs reject the scheme. Ethical Forestry is not FSA regulated or authorised so investor protection is very low. There is also no track-record or real evidence to support claims made on the website.

I hope this is just a small part of a wider investment portfolio of shares and bonds.

There was a story in paper last week of someone who had moved £150,000 pension into carbon credits and lost the lot.

This investment is not regulated so you have no protection at all if they are making false claims.

How did you buy/were you sold this product? Do you consider yourself to be a "high net worth" or "sophisticated" investor? Is the following information relevant?

"UCIS can be based outside the UK and dedicate money to a range of different enterprises, including less common investment products and activities like film production, forest plantations and foreign property. These unregulated schemes cannot be promoted to the general public in the UK, but can be proposed to certain limited categories of investors .."

Most of these schemes are scams or dodgy. This is not a hindsight opinion but one that was known of these things years ago.

Most of the investors in these things are likely to end up losing much or all of the investment.

There are some regulated schemes that operate in this area which are much more specialist and aimed at higher wealth investors who can put a small amount in (by their wealth standard) and accept the volatility. However, those marketed to the average consumer tend to be dodgy as hell.

Rather than the doom and gloom merchants I will offer an alternative view.

Some of these investment are legitimate and in fact in Germany investing in fixed assets is a relatively well established business. Such investments cover things like containers, aircraft, care homes and indeed forestry.

But like anything else you need to be careful and make sure you understand and spread the risk i.e. do you diligence. The portfolio I am invested in was recommended by a financial advisor.

I have had around 10 of these investments which in total makes up around 10% of my portfolio (i.e. no one investment is > 1%)and (so far) I have been receiving the returns promised.

So my thought is that they are not all bad but as the saying goes if its promising something that looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

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