Solar Update - It Gets
Just been listening to a very interesting piece on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2 about solar
panels, in which the normally sceptical money saving expert Martin Lewis, was very positive about the
investment potential created by the governments backing for solar panels.
We’ve talked quite a bit about the opportunity to make an excellent return from solar panels recently – even
if you don’t want to install the panels in your own home. Just last week, we told you about an innovative
scheme, backed by the government, to place units in housing association properties and reap an 8% return.
Well last night, I got an update on that scheme which offers even better news for potential investors. The 8%
return is now a minimum as the company are guaranteeing to pay any shortfall should the units not produce
what they are expected to. However if they perform better than expected, investors will get that as well, so
it’s a real win win situation for investors.
In addition, the company have said that all payments will go directly to the investor, meaning that if they were to
go into liquidation there is no risk to the investor of them not receiving the tariffs from the government. The
best news of all though is that the tariffs will now be paid quarterly rather than every 6 months
The minimum investment for this opportunity is £15K, with larger returns available for higher investments. We think
this a brilliant opportunity. It’s secure; it’s Government-backed; it’s regulated by Ofgem; it’s providing free
energy to those in social housing; and it will make you some money as well.
Okay, so let’s make one thing clear from the
start – penny shares are speculative investments and you may lose all your money. Then again, you could make a heck
of a lot as well. Let me give you an example.
I’ve been watching gold-related shares, especially those of smaller mining companies. This is what I saw last week.
Solomon Gold shares started the week at 10p (that’s a ‘penny share’ these days). They went up to 85p three days
later – that’s your 750 per cent.
Of course, lots of investors then bailed out and that drove the price back down to 44p. So, even those who um and
ah have still got some profits in their pocket. Interested? You’ve got to be (just so long as you’re not a widow or
orphan or anyone who comes over all hot and cold at the thought of losing money). We’ll get a how-to article
There are lots of financial products we can put in the ‘dud’ category such as PPI. But the list is pretty endless.
For example, every time I go into a high-street store for some minor electrical item or other they always ask if I
want to ‘cover it’ (i.e. pay for some over-priced insurance that’s riddled with exclusions).
Brian Brown, head of research at Defaqto, says there’s an easy way to spot a dud. "Everyone's different, so a
product that's perfect for one person might be a complete waste of money for another. Whatever you're considering,
ask yourself what would happen if you didn't have it. This can tell you how important it is."
By and large, any ‘add-ons’ from intermediaries – banks, building societies, high street stores etc – are a waste
of money. Most of these intermediaries recommend these products, good, bad, or indifferent, simply because they get
a decent commission and that means higher prices for you.
A useful tip has come in today for anyone who owns or is thinking
of purchasing a leasehold flat (or other leasehold property for that matter) that was built in the 70’s or 80’s.
Check how long the lease is for.
Less than 80 years and it’s bad news. David Smith, senior partner at property consultant Carter Jonas, says, “Once
the lease length drops below 80 years, the cost of extending the lease can jump significantly as every year
“This is because the landlord is entitled to a 50 per cent share of the marriage value on leases of less than 80
years. This is the increase in the value of the flat as and when the lease is extended.” We have a how-to article
available on request.