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Are Amicus investments safe?

Resolved Question:

Are Amicus investments safe ?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Finance
Expert:  danj66 replied 3 months ago.

Hi there,

When looking at sites like this it is important to consider three things: 1) The website - Does it look like a scam site? 2) Reviews - What are other people saying about the site 3) The product- What is the product/service and how safe/reliable is it!

1) Having viewed the website, here's what I found:

  • They are based in Austria, I am not sure what financial services regulation is like in Austria but it is something you will need to look into to determine whether the company is well regulated and has good reporting and risk management standards.
  • They were founded in 2011 and therefore have never been thru a stock market crash.
  • They seem to be headquartered in Austria but registered in the Marshall Islands. That might be for taxes reasons. Good luck to you if you decide to sue them for any reason in the future.
  • They claim to pay at least half their profits to various charities, wish more companies were that generous!
  • Now for how they try to make their money. According to http://amicusinvest.com/wp-conte..., about 44% is invested in MSCI World Index ETF, about 34% in various European promissory notes (not many details provided), about 18% in Markit iBoxx Global Developed Markets ex-US High Yield Index and BofA Merrill Lynch 0-5 Year US High Yield Constrained Index, and about 4% is held in cash.
  • Their goal is to make 4% more than what they guarantee to their clients. Note that for a 10-year investment, for which they guarantee 10% return, it means that they target a 14% return!
  • They do not reveal who the founder and executives are on their website. We should wonder why.

2) Next, I checked the reviews to try and get a picture of how they're viewed by the majority of people. I found two things:

  • The majority of people who haven't tried the site believe it to be a scam site. Indeed I understand why, a guaranteed 10% return is an extremely difficult promise to keep, not to mention they're trying to make 14% so that they make a profit too. The website isn't completely transparent either, not really showing who they are and who the team behind the site are. Most reviewers point to the old adage of "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is".
  • After reading the above about people who haven't tried the site, I expected the general consensus of people who had tried to the site be one of "It's a scam", "I didn't get my money back", "I couldn't contact them", etc, etc. To my surprise, what I found was the exact opposite. People who have tried the site said that the customer service was excellent, they were usually contacted within a matter of hours, at the most a day. The majority of people are currently going through their first term but stated that they were happy with how things were progressing so far. I saw one review of a person who had completed his first term, he initially invested £8000 and he received £8500 after 12 months, so he received at least his 10% guaranteed return.
  • So all in all, the general consensus of people who haven't tried the site is that it is a scam, however, the general consensus of the people who have tried the site is that things are going very well so far.

3) The product/service - The service is investments, and the first rule of investment is that there is a chance that you could lose it. Of course, with this site, they guarantee that you will make a 10% return on your investment, by this they're not only guaranteeing that your money is safe but also guaranteeing that you will make a profit. This kind of guarantee is unheard of in the investment world....apart from on scam sites....which is a big part of why the majority of people believe they are a scam site. Despite this companies "guarantee", I don't believe any investment company can guarantee against losses, indeed if there was a market crash of some sort where all the investment funds were lost, how would they then guarantee a return for everyone?

Conclusion - The site guarantees a return, and so far I don't see any evidence of them not meeting this guarantee as people who are with the site are satisfied thus far. However, the fact is this is an investment site, and I honestly don't believe that they can guarantee the protection of all investment funds as well as guarantee a return. I feel that, while the markets are good the site is more than happy to use other people's money to invest and to give them a return. However, I feel that once something went wrong, if the markets crashed, for example, I feel that they would have no alternative but to break this guarantee. If they did do this then you would have a hard time suing them or trying to get your money back because of the "locations" where the company is based and registered.

All in all, I can't guarantee that your money will be safe, I don't think any investment company can, or should do that either. I think if you choose to invest then you will probably see a return based on the reviews I've seen as long as the company doesn't run into trouble. However, if the company does run into trouble I honestly feel that the guarantee will be worth nothing, and I think you would struggle to enforce this.

Hope this answers your question, if not please reply and I'll do my best.

Dan

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Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hi Dan,
At the moment we're away on holiday with very limited access to WiFi.
I have read your report, which as I guessed comes to no actual conclusion.
At the sum we have to invest is large, we have decided to use the money in a much safer way, with not so much risk.
Thank you for all you've done.
Yours Faithfully, Ine & Barrie