Hotel Chocolat… an investment for chocolate lovers!
Let’s review this idea not for the specific investments shown (they are all sold) but for the concept. The idea is great because it cuts out middlemen so investors and borrowers enhance profits and enjoy the process because it is more specific and adapted to one’s lifestyle.
This idea may be one that helps you as an investor or as a person who wants to expand a business.
Exactly 11 years (August 28, 2001) this site posted a message making seven predictions of how business and investing would evolve. One of the seven predictions is below:
* Imagination Era Prediction #6: Values will be as or even more important than the economic value. Consumers will base their buying decisions on private internal values that will grow in importance. We can see this trend already developing. For example many businesses have already learned it is good business to now give part of their profits to some type of charity. Some businesses have become their values, such as the ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s.. Such companies form a new corporate culture each expressing their values through the way they do business. Such firms express a set of values which states how the firm’s convictions differ from the norm. Consumers who imagine these convictions are good will buy from these firms because they feel this firm has the ecologically correct or wholesome values that match how they (the consumer) feels.
In the Imagination Era consumers will perceive these values to be of increasing importance and will increasingly follow their feelings even when their imaginings may be wrong. In the early stages of this era this may lead businesses to profess convictions that are not really felt simply to attract customers.
A money raising trend that started in the UK is an evolution growing from this concept of investing in values. The investments are called mini-bonds, but I like to call them lifestyle bonds because they are bonds issued by small, private companies that fill their financing needs through loyal customers.
The borrowers (the issuers of the bonds) are typically companies offering the bonds to their customers. This benefits both the borrower and the investor.
They have taken on some odd forms so far… some paying dividends in cash, others in goods such as chocolate, shaving cream or a mix.
This trend has been created for three reasons.
First, the shortage of lending by banks to small businesses has forced them to become creative.
The second reason behind the trend is the shortage of safe investments that pay any type of reasonable return.
The third factor is the high cost of capital-raising.
Essentially these bonds are an unsecured loans to a specific company.
This is similar to any bond. The difference is that the yields are higher than most bonds but they are not listed on any exchange so they cannot be sold. Liquidation only comes at maturity. In short you give up liquidity for yield.
Since businesses are offering them to customers there are sometimes fringe benefits.
Some examples are a 2009 offer by King of Shaves issue of three-year bonds in multiples of £1,000 paying 6 per cent a year, plus free shaving products for the duration of the term.
In 2010 Hotel Chocolat offered three-year bonds with equivalent yields of 6.72 per cent on investments of £2,000 or £4,000 respectively, but in the form of boxes of chocolate.
Hotel Chocolat, is a British chocolatier with over 6o stores in the United Kingdom, the USA, Europe and the Middle East.
This firm began in the 1980s selling chocolate mints and evolved into a Chocolate Tasting Club in Britain, which now has around 100,000 members. Each month the club sends a new selection of chocolates using only the best ingredients and no artificial colours.
Then the firm purchased its own cocoa plantation in St. Lucia and is the only company in the United Kingdom to grow cocoa on their own plantation. Plus they built a small hotel there and have numerous cabins.
John Lewis… an investment for shoppers.
A 2011, John Lewis bond offer provided a fixed coupon of 4.5 per cent in cash, with a further 2 per cent in gift vouchers for the stores.
I love shopping in John Lewis and millions of others do as well so this if a great deal for shoppers.
Perhaps the most recent mini bond issue was by the British boutique hotel guide and booking service, Mr & Mrs Smith. They raised £5m to “develop a family of sister brands”. The Smith Bond has a minimum subscription of £1,000, but no upper limit. These bonds mature in four years and pay a fixed-rate return of 7.5% paid bi annually.
Users of Mr & Mrs Smith’s services can instead receive their interest in ‘loyalty money’ redeemable against boutique hotels and houses around the world. This pushes the return to 9.5%.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith an investment for those who love luxury boutique hotels.
These bonds pay a higher yield but are not risk-free. First, the bonds are unsecured and are only as good as the company’s ability to pay the interest and redeem the bonds on maturity. You’ll only get your money back if the firm still exists when the bonds come due.
Perfect for Lifestyle
What makes sense about such bonds is they make three connections… customer as investor – borrower investor direct and – an investment fitted to a consumer’s lifestyle.
Who is more likely to be happy to support and enjoy an investment in a company than a happy customer? Also why pay the big underwriting fees usually charged on a typical bond offering? Finally does it not make more sense to have an investment that maximizes the spending you are actually going to do?
The other downside of course is that this only works when a business you use decides to raise money in this way and all the bonds mentioned above are filled. Nevertheless, we’ll keep an eye out for more. You should also!
Learn more about investing in bonds and how to finance a small business at our October Super Thinking + Business and Investing Seminar October 5-6-7.
Investing Beyond the BoomWarren Buffet once warned against the Cinderella effect.
He said “Don’t be fooled by that Cinderella feeling you get from great returns. Nothing sedates rationality like large doses of effortless money. After a heady experience of that kind, normally sensible people drift into behavior akin to that of Cinderella at the ball. They know the party must end but nevertheless hate to miss a single minute of what is one helluva party. Therefore, the giddy participants all plan to leave just seconds before midnight. There’s a problem, though: They are dancing in a room in which the clocks have no hands.”
Cinderella may have lost a shoe when she fled the party to meet a midnight curfew. We can lose much more when we rush from a crashing stock market.
Most investors face emotional dangers that build in rising markets.
Almost everyone feels good.
But the clock of economic reckoning is ticking.
No wants to see it. Nothing rises forever and especially… not everything at the same time.
Yet no one wants to leave the party until the end.
But many edge closer to the door.
When the clock chimes there could be a stampede even though leaving in a hurry may be the worst way to go.
Here are seven steps that can help avoid this risk.
- Choose investments based on markets instead of shares.
- Diversify based on value.
- Rely on financial information rather than economic news.
- Keep investing simple.
- Keep investing costs low.
- Trade as little as possible.
- Make the decision process during panics automatic.
One strategy is to invest in country ETFs that easily provide diversified, risk-controlled investments in countries with stock markets of good value. These ETFs provide an easy, simple and effective approach to zeroing in on value. Little management and less guesswork is required. The expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual funds. Plus a single country ETF provides diversification equal to investing in dozens, even hundreds of shares.
A minimum of knowledge, time, management or guesswork are required.
The importance of…
Keeping investing simple is one of the most valuable, but least looked at, ways to avoid disaster. Simple and easy investing saves time. How much is your time worth? Simple investing costs less and avoids fast decisions during stressful times in complex situations where we are most likely to get it wrong.
Fear, regret and greed are an investor’s chief problem. Human nature causes investors to sell winners too soon, and hold losers too long.
Easy to use, low cost, mathematically based habits and routines help protect against negative emotions and impulse investing.
Take control of your investing. Make decisions based on data and discipline, not gut feelings. The Purposeful investing Course (Pi) teaches math based, low cost ways to diversify in good value markets and in ETFs that cover these markets. This course is based on my 50 years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.
Enjoy Repeated Wealth With Pi
Pi’s mission is to make it easy for anyone to have a strategy and tactics that continually maintain safety and turn market turmoil into extra profit.
One secret is to invest with a purpose beyond the immediate returns. This helps create faith in a strategy that adds stickiness to the plan.
Another tactic is to invest with enough staying power so you’re never caught short.
Never have to sell depressed assets during periods of loss.
Lessons from Pi are based on the creation and management of Model Portfolios, called Pifolios.
The success of Pifolios is based on ignoring economic news (often created by someone with vested interests) and using financial math that reveals deeper economic truths.
One Pifolio covers all the good value developed markets. Another covers the emerging good value markets.
The Pifolio analysis begins with a continual research of 46 major stock markets that compares their value based on:
#1: Current book to price
#2: Cash flow to price
#3: Earnings to price
#4: Average dividend yield
#5: Return on equity
#6: Cash flow return.
#7: Market history
This is a complete and continual study of almost all the developed major and emerging stock markets.
This mathematical analysis forms the basis of a Good Value Stock Market Strategy. The analysis is rational, mathematical and does not worry about short term ups and downs.
This strategy is easy for anyone to follow and use. Pi reveals the best value markets and provides contacts to managers and analysts and Country Index ETFs so almost anyone can create and follow their own strategy.
Learn how to invest like a pro from the inside out.
At the beginning of 2019 my personal Pifolio is based on select ETFs in the Keppler Developed and Emerging markets. My Pifolio is invested in Country ETFs that cover seven developed and three emerging markets:
Don’t give up profit to gain ease and safety!
Regardless of economic news, these markets represent good value and have been chosen based on four pillars of valuation.
- Absolute Valuation
- Relative Valuation
- Current versus Historic Valuation
- Current Relative versus Relative Historic Valuation
When you subscribe to Pi, you immediately receive a 120 page basic training course that teaches the Pi Strategy. You learn all the Pi strategies, what they are, how to use them and what each can do for you, your lifestyle and investing.
You also begin receiving regular emailed Pifiolio updates and online access to all the Pifolio updates of the last two years. Each update examines the current activity in a Pifolio, how it is changing, why and how the changes might help your investing or not.
Included in the basic training is an additional 120 page PDF value analysis of 46 stock markets (23 developed markets and 23 emerging stock markets). This analysis looks at the price to book, price to earnings, average yield and much more.
You also receive two special reports.
In the 1980s, a remarkable set of two economic circumstances helped anyone who spotted them become remarkably rich. Some of my readers made enough to retire. Others picked up 50% currency gains. Then the cycle ended. Warren Buffett explained the importance of this ending in a 1999 Fortune magazine interview. He said: Let me summarize what I’ve been saying about the stock market: I think it’s very hard to come up with a persuasive case that equities will over the next 17 years perform anything like—anything like—they’ve performed in the past 17!
I did well then, but always thought, “I should have invested more!” Now those circumstances have come together and I am investing in them again.
The circumstances that created fortunes 30 years ago were an overvalued US market (compared to global markets) and an overvalued US dollar. The two conditions are in place again!
30 years ago, the US dollar rose along with Wall Street. Profits came quickly over three years. Then the dollar dropped like a stone, by 51% in just two years. A repeat of this pattern is growing and could create up to 50% extra profit if we start using strong dollars to accumulate good value stock market ETFs in other currencies.
This is the most exciting opportunity I have seen since we started sending our reports on international investing ideas more than three decades ago. The trends are so clear that I have created a short, but powerful report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More.” This report shows how to earn an extra 50% from currency shifts with even small investments. I kept the report short and simple, but included links to 153 pages of Good Value Stock Market research and Asset Allocation Analysis.
The report shows 20 good value investments and a really powerful tactic that shows the most effective and least expensive way to accumulate these bargains in large or even very small amounts (less than $5,000). There is extra profit potential of at least 50% so the report is worth a lot.
This report sells for $29.95 but in this special offer, you receive the report, “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More” FREE when you subscribe to Pi.
Plus get the $39.95 report “The Silver Dip” free.
With investors watching global stock markets bounce up and down, many missed two really important profit generating events over the last two years. The price of silver dipped below $14 an ounce as did shares of the iShares Silver ETF (SLV). The second event is that the silver gold ratio hit 80, compared to a ratio of 230 only two years before.
In September 2015, I prepared a special report “Silver Dip 2015” about a silver speculation, leveraged with a British pound loan, that could increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times. The tactics described in that report generated 62.48% profit in just nine months.
I have updated this report and added how to use the Silver Dip Strategy with platinum. The “Silver Dip” report shares the latest in a series of long term lessons gained through 40 years of speculating and investing in precious metals. I released the 2015 report, when the gold silver ratio slipped to 80. The ratio has corrected and that profit has been taken and now a new precious metals dip has emerged.
I have prepared a new special report “Silver Dip” about a leveraged speculation that can increase the returns in a safe portfolio by as much as eight times.
You also learn from the Value Investing Seminar, our premier course, that we have been conducting for over 30 years. Tens of thousands of delegates have paid up to $999 to attend. Now you can join the seminar online FREE in this special offer.
This three day course is available in sessions that are 10 to 20 minutes long for easy, convenient learning. You can listen to each session any time and as often as you desire.
The sooner you hear what I have to say about current markets, the better you’ll be able to cash in on perhaps the best investing opportunity since 1982.
Tens of thousands have paid up to $999 to attend.
This year I celebrated my 52nd anniversary of writing about global investing. Our reports and seminars have helped readers have better lives, with less stress yet make fortunes during up and down markets for decades. This information is invaluable to investors large and small because even small amounts can easily be invested in the good value shares we cover in our seminar.
Stock and currency markets are cyclical. These cycles create extra profit for value investors who invest when everyone else has the markets wrong. One special seminar session looks at how to spot value from cycles. Stocks rise from the cycle of war, productivity and demographics. Cycles create recurring profits. Economies and stock markets cycle up and down around every 15 to 20 years as shown in this graph.
The effect of war cycles on the US Stock Market since 1906.
Bull and bear cycles are based on cycles of human interaction, war, technology and productivity. Economic downturns can create war.
The chart above shows the war – stock market cycle. Military struggles (like the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the Cold War: WW III) super charge inventiveness that creates new forms of productivity…the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, production line processes, jet engines, TV, farming techniques, plastics, telephone, computer and lastly during the Cold War, the internet. The military technology shifts to domestic use. A boom is created that leads to excess. Excess leads to correction. Correction creates an economic downturn and again to war.
Details in the online seminar include:
* How to easily buy global currencies, shares and bonds.
* Trading down and the benefits of investing in real estate in Small Town USA. We will share why this breakout value is special and why we have been recommending good value real estate in this area since 2009.
* What’s up with gold and silver? One session looks at my current position on gold and silver and asset protection. We review the state of the precious metal markets and potential problems ahead for US dollars. Learn how low interest rates eliminate opportunity costs of diversification in precious metals and foreign currencies.
* How to improve safety and increase profit with leverage and staying power. The seminar reveals Warren Buffett’s value investing strategy from research published at Yale University’s website. This research shows that the stocks Buffet chooses are safe (with low beta and low volatility), cheap (value stocks with low price-to-book ratios), and high quality (stocks of companies that are profitable, stable, growing, and with high payout ratios). His big, extra profits come from leverage and staying power. At times Buffet’s portfolio, as all value portfolios, has fallen, but he has been willing and able to wait long periods for the value to reveal itself and prices to recover.
Use time not timing.
Time is your friend when you use a good value strategy. The longer you can hold onto a well balanced good value portfolio, the better the odds of outstanding success.
A 45 year portfolio study shows that holding a diversified good value portfolio (based on a good value strategy) for 13 month’s time, increases the probability of out performance to 70%. However those who can hold the portfolio for five years gain a 88% probability of beating the bellwether in the market and after ten years the probability increases to 97.5%.
Learn how much leverage to use. Leverage is like medicine, the key is dose. The best ratio is normally 1.6 to 1. We’ll sum up the strategy; how to leverage cheap, safe, quality stocks and for what period of time based on the times and each individual’s circumstances.
Learn to plan in a way so you never run out of money. The seminar also has a session on the importance of having and sticking to a plan. See how success is dependent on conviction, wherewithal, and skill to operate with leverage and significant risk. Learn a three point strategy based on my 50 years of investing experience combined with wisdom gained from some of the world’s best investment managers and economic mathematical scientists.
The online seminar also reveals the results of a $80,000 share purchase cost test that found the least expensive way to invest in good value. The keys to this portfolio are good value, low cost, minimal fuss and bother. Plus a great savings of time. Trading is minimal, usually not more than one or two shares are bought or sold in a year. I wanted to find the very least expensive way to create and hold this portfolio so I performed this test.
I have good news about the cost of the seminar as well. For almost three decades the seminar fee has been $799 for one or $999 for a couple. Tens of thousands paid this price, but online the seminar is $297.
In this special offer, you can get this online seminar FREE when you subscribe to our Personal investing Course.
Save $468.90 If You Act Now
Subscribe to the first year of The Personal investing Course (Pi). The annual fee is $299, but to introduce you to this online, course that is based on real time investing, I am knocking $102 off the subscription. Plus you receive FREE the $29.95 report “Three Currency Patterns for 50% Profits or More”, the $39.95 report “Silver Dip” and our latest $297 online seminar for a total savings of $468.90.
Enroll in Pi. Get the basic training, the 46 market value report, access to all the updates of the past two years, the two reports and the Value Investing Seminar right away.
#1: I guarantee you’ll learn ideas about investing that are unique and can reduce stress as they help you enhance your profits through slow, worry free, easy diversified investing.
If you are not totally happy, simply let me know.
#2: I guarantee you can cancel your subscription within 60 days and I’ll refund your subscription fee in full, no questions asked.
#3: You can keep the two reports and Value Investing Seminar as my thanks for trying.
You have nothing to lose except the fear. You gain the ultimate form of financial security as you reduce risk and increase profit potential.
Subscribe to Pi now, get the 130 page basic training, the 120 page 46 market value analysis, access to over 100 previous Pifolio updates, the “Silver Dip” and “Three Currency Patterns For 50% Profits or More” reports, and value investment seminar, plus begin receiving regular Pifolio updates throughout the year.
Subscribe to a Pi annual subscription for $197 and receive all the above.
Your subscription will be charged $299 a year from now, but you can cancel at any time.