In the past few years, we had seen many so-called alternative investments gone wrong. From land banking to oil fields (oilpods) to wine.
If you had a bad experience with some of these investments, you would likely have gone through a tough time trying to get any form of recourse including being put on a merry go round between your MP, MAS, Small Claims Tribunal (SCT), FIDRec, CAD, the police and a lawyer (depending on who you approach first in the chain). I sympathize with those who have been put through all these.
All these products continue to stay as unregulated investments and do not fall under the purview of MAS, which means the alternative investment product providers can pretty much do what they like.
The irony is that MAS has been trying in recent times to tighten up on the regulations that relates to the sale and marketing of investment products.
For example, there are restrictions even on the font size to be used when placing an advertisement to market an investment product.
Simple products like low cost index funds can only be sold to accredited investors and are not available to retail investors.
And yet some of these toxic alternative investments continue to be sold to the man in the street without any regulation. There is an urgent need to start regulating some of these investments in order to protect retail investors. The buck has to stop somewhere.
There is a site that has been writing a few articles recently on some investors’ unpleasant experiences with land banking. If you go there, you will be able to see a number of comments as well as links to a few other news site that did some other reporting on land banking.
You can find the site here:
While it is still up to you to differentiate facts from opinions, the site is definitely worth a read to get more educated on some of the perils of land banking.