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Thursday, 13 February 2014

FCF Wine Investments – ludicrously optimistic projections on over-priced wines.



 FCF's lipsmacking profit projection on 2010 Duhard Milon 
£11,553.03 net profit in four years!!
 
 
I was recently contacted by TG, a putative investor with FCF Investments. This is the trading name of FCF Associates Ltd. The company was founded 10.102011 and has two directors: 38-year-old Matthew Simon Guy and 34-year-old Steven David Carruthers. The company's share capital is £2 – split equally between the two directors. Their trading address is a serviced office in Knutsford. FCF produces ludicrously optimistic projections based on over-priced wines with a 15% service charge! 

FCF Investments sent TG an example 'of the returns you can achieve' enclosing the above chart 'showing the predicted returns for the Duhart Milon Rothschild 2010 over a 4 year investment period. This is calculated based on a 25% increase in value per year (the returns typically experienced over the last 10 years on comparable vintages.' 




This really is flying pig territory especially as FCF Investments sell their wines at a considerably higher price than can be found elsewhere and charge a 15% service charge (10% on purchase, 5% on sale) – presumably for their expertise in overcharging. 

FCF Investments propose to charge TG £1089 for a case of 2010 Duhart Milon (£990 per case plus 10% service charge). However, a quick shop around on wine-searcher.com shows that a case (12 bottles) of the 2010 Duhart Millon can be bought for £600 a case from both Ditton Wine Traders and Seckford Wines – an immediate saving of £489 a case. As FCF Investments told TG he should buy 10 cases this is a saving of £4890!

FCF's projections have no basis in reality as Bordeaux prices have fallen considerably since 2011. For a look at the real world of fine wine prices and their movments see http://www.bordeauxindex.com/market.php as well as the Liv-ex indices.

FCF's advice on tax liabilities is also wrong. Bordeaux First Growths bought when young from good vintages are unlikely to qualify as 'wasting assets'. FCF claims that wine for inheritance tax 'is valued at acquisition cost, not current value'. This is incorrect it is assessed at 'current value'. of course given FCF Investments' high price policy this may be an unexpected advantage!    

If the fine wine market was really buoyant and a sure-fire source of profits, it is unlikely that we would have seen the collapse of several wine funds over the past year including Nobles Crus, Vintage Wine Fund and, most recently, The Bordeaux Fund. The latter reported by Wealth Manager (City Wire) to have lost 58% since its launch in 2008.   

Fortunately TG declined FCF Investments kind offer of over-priced wine investments. I suggest you do the same. 

 

39 comments:

  1. Jim, i have noticed that Duhart milon Rothschild 2010 is quoted as low as £600. However Berry Brothers and Rudd are selling it now for £1468.00. Also the average price on wine searcher is over £1000.00.

    I don't want to say who i am yet. I have clear evidence from one of my investors that Vin x sent him an invoice for a certain wine at double the max price on wine searcher. I told him this he canceled and then invested with me at the right price.
    So my point, why dont you list berry brothers for overcharging (check price on their website) and why don't you list Vinx for cold calling.
    I personally, one day soon and maybe even with your help would like to set up a real wine association, non profit, we will fund start up costs.
    No cold calling clients. Investors get their own account in warehouse first, not a joint account. No deposit taken. Then when they have their account number only then do they pay and we transfer the wine into their account immediately. Plus more rules which im sure with your experience you could really help and give me great advise.
    im not prepared to debate this in front of everyone in my
    name. please respond here with your thoughts ans then i will provide you with my name and number and maybe we can make a difference.
    thank you in advane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon. As I'm sure you are aware there are crucial differences between selling something retail and selling that same product as an investment, especially in the case of FCF where the 'predictions of profit' are based on over-priced wine. As long as something is selling retail you can charge what you like. Whether someone is willing to pay the price asked is another matter. In this instance if I wanted a case of the 2010 Duhart Milon I would look to buy from Ditton at £600 a case rather than pay Berry's price of £1224. The average price show on wine-searcher today is £828 a case.

      Delete
  2. Hi Jim... I have similar dealings with FCF investments. They offered mecases of Duhart Milion Rothschild 2011 at £990 per case, plus a 10& charge with additional r 5& later on I checked the price of this wine elsewhere and iy's available at £600 a case.

    Is there a reputable Wine Investment company out there I can invest in?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Matthew Guy is a director of NBH Media, a website company based in Liverpool, together with Steven Carruthers who both used to try and sell advertising in a non-existent publication promoting carbon offsetting, also featured in an article on the daily mirror site mentioning them both in person:
    http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/2012/12/meet-the-new-investment-scam-o.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Anon. I see that Denver Trading AG mentioned in the Mirror article was put into provisional liquidation by the High Court. http://insolvency.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/Rare-earth-metals-companies-placed-into-provisional-liquidation-6984c.aspx



    'Three companies involved in the supply of rare earth elements to the public were placed into provisional liquidation on 20 December 2013, following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

    Denver Trading AG, a Swiss registered company, Denver Trading Ltd, a Seychelles registered company (collectively ‘Denver Trading’), and Imperial Escrow Ltd, who held money from customers on behalf of Denver Trading, all took part in the rare metal business.'

    ReplyDelete
  5. Also Galissard Ltd is in process of being struck off for non-compliance – no accounts or returns filed. Return overdue since 15.8.2013.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jim,

    I have cash invested with FCF. The wine is held (supposedly) in London City Bonds in a bonded warehouse on which I pay insurance. Have I lost my money?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anon. You need to check with LCB to see if they have your wine.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have checked with LCB and our wine is there, FCF are not at their premises in Liverpool and the girl answering the phone didn't know where they'd gone to

    ReplyDelete
  9. Edited comment:

    FCF is based in Liverpool. I have wine portfolio with them from past 3 years. I am trying to sell them via FCF but I keep getting the emails from them to hold it for 12 more months.
    Since Aug 2014 I didn't get any communication from them regarding selling mu portfolio.
    I have the wines in Bonded Warehouse but the price I paid for a case was 3 times higher then normal seliing price on BBX.
    Before buying I mentioned that your selling price is way to high compared to BBX. The response I got from FCF (Steven Langley, the broker) was than BBX rates are stale rates and they don't change the price of the wine on the index that often. I was a bit surprised but I went ahead with the deal by paying 10% commission on top.

    They will coerce you to buy the wine and would say that if you want to sell it then you can back to FCF. This is absolutely not true. They are cheaters.

    Be aware of FCF and Steven Langley-Goodman.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am filing a lawsuit against FCF very soon. if any one feels they have been dubbed then please reply here and I will get in touch with you to bring down these scamsters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi I also invested £15000 with FCF and Steven Langley-Goodman.
      How can we help?

      Delete
    2. I also invested 10k with FCF back in 2012. Have lost all faith in them as their communication is beyond shocking and their projections unbelievably inflated. Just not sure what action to take now...?

      I have been fobbed off about selling my wine for well over a year now and signed a sale agreement where I even lost a little bit of my initial investment, such is my trust with this company

      Delete
    3. Hi are you still looking into this?
      I am also a victim.

      Delete
    4. If you look at the latest filed accounts to 31st March 2015 you will see that the company appears to be doing little business. Profit and loss: £13097 with debts within a year £3603. In waht way are you a victim please?

      Delete
  11. Anon, Please get in touch with details like amount invested, Invoices provided, any verbal commitment and last response received from FCF on fcfinvestors@gmail.com

    I have not been receiving any response from them since past 6 months and I am sure that there many more investors in same situation as us.

    Thanks,

    ReplyDelete
  12. We have not gone anywhere to the people who can not get hold of us



    my number is 07767 373 939



    10 Rumford place Liverpool l3 9dg



    08451213188




    Please contact me asap so we can sort all this out, whatever the problem is with each person im sure it can be fixed. We have started to generate new sales in wine again so this year we can go back to normal trading.


    Although the market dropped last year, this year is showing good signs of a good year for wine investments.

    I hope you all realise that this forum is exactly what caused all of your problems ( fact)

    Everything that jim budd has claimed we do have an honest answer for.

    We have made mistake but we are genuine people.

    For example all the investor who bought rare earth, had there money paid back when we didn't have to as we were only introducing the investor to rare earth.

    Although the wine was sold to you at a premium, we still have the plan place to sell the wine you have online abroad at higher prices than the uk as soon as we can.

    Either way please contact me so we can solve the problems we have.

    hope your all well and I look forward to seeing you soon.

    Steve

    ReplyDelete
  13. JUST TO ADD TO PREVIOUS MESSAGE

    Jim budd is right when it comes to the projection we sent out and our prices. We should not have sent projections of what the wine might go up by either way, and certainly not that high. It was sent by one of our brokers who know longer works for FCF only a few times, however it will never happen again.

    Also in future our prices will be the same price you will find at Farr Vintners the wholesaler.

    Steve Carruthers

    ReplyDelete
  14. To Steve L and Steve C,

    So basically we all (Investors) were right with respect to your baseless and speculative future return projections of the wines.
    We have heard enough on your plans of selling wines at higher profits etc etc. I need to see some action now...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear anonymous....

    could you please call Steve Langley on 07767 373 939 so we can try sell your wine as soon as possible.

    Also we have spoken to almost all our investors who understand the full situation and are willing to wait for 1 to 2 years for the market to hopefully improve which it looks like is starting to happen now.

    This blog is extremely unhelpful to all our investors.

    Yes we have made mistakes, we were influenced by the Chinese demand forcing the prices to exorbitant rates and the resulting collapse of the market.

    Through reflective practice we have realised what errors we made and as a result we no longer charge any upfront fees and source wines at the lowest possible wholesale prices, resulting in prospective investors getting the best possible deals available. In addition, we only charge investors 15% of the net profit when we sell.

    Continuation of the negative blogs will only serve to cause further problems for our current customers, making it extremely difficult to sell their investments.

    The negative comments on this forum have made it extremely difficult to gain any new business despite the fact that we have a large number of references available from satisfied clients. Furthermore, eventually it will cause us to cease trading.

    Could you therefore please contact us on 07767373939 or 0845 1213188 to discuss how we can rectify the situation which will be beneficial to all concerned, ultimately by removing the content of this blog.

    It has never been our intention to cause distress or difficulty to any of our clients but only to provide them with the means to gain a fair return on their investments.

    Kind Regards

    Steven Langley and Steven Carruthers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steven Langley and Steven Carruthers

      Thank you for your message. I take it from your comments that my post was accurate, so no reason to remove it. if you are going to offer unregulated investments to persuade people to invest their savings in wine, art, carbon credits etc. it behoves companies and directors to do their homework before setting up.

      Delete
    2. Steven Langley is Steven Goodman and Steven carruthers they are all the same person there are no 'brokers'

      Delete
  16. I would like to add that it will not mean that we will cease trading with respect to looking after our existing customers.

    It means that we will no longer be able to generate new business.

    Steve Carruthers

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Jim
    I’ve invested close to £15,000 in wine with FCF investments.
    Although it is barely 3 years since I did, and the current downturn in
    the Chinese economy isn't helping, I’m determined to see my
    investment through. However, this blog has me extremely worried about
    my investment; more the damage it is causing the FCF’s reputation. I
    see that FCF investments have also commented and invited you to open
    up a dialogue with them but you don’t seem to want to do that. As a
    concerned investor, I‘d be grateful if you would talk to them and
    post your exchanges on this forum please.

    Also, to FCF investments, please could you publish any testimonies of
    satisfied clients you have? This forum is utterly devoid of any
    positive news about you. I think you need to provide evidence that you
    are a genuine outfit with happy customers. Testimonies would need to
    be authenticated.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  18. on 19 Dec 2014 I commented on this forum. However till now there has not been any movement to selling of wine or testimony from any satisfied customers. I have repeatedly asked FCF to sell my wine portfolios but all I got was assurance and then the trail went cold. The broker is not even interested in communicating anymore.

    With no choice I have touched base with http://www.wsta.co.uk/ to take this forward now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am another investor who has serious concerns. I am also about to report my case to WSTA. Communication has been woeful and with all of the above concerns it leaves me no choice. I'd like proof that my portfolio is actively being worked on and trying to be sold. I'd also like proof of any previous investors who have had any returns with FCF in a reasonable timeframe.

      When FCF blame this blog for their downfall and a previous employer for ludicrously optimistic objections, it raises huge red flags

      Delete
  19. I too invested £10,000 in Feb 2014 although my Wine is safe with LCB I too have been trying to contact Steve or FCF but to No Avail. Has anybody got anywhere with contacting Steven Langley and Steven Carruthers

    ReplyDelete
  20. It seems like there are many FCF investors who have been taken for a ride with ridiculous return projections with no real evidence on the actual market value of wine. FCF had even ridiculed BBX market value stating that the low prices on their index is stale....

    I tried calling FCF but no response from them at all....

    ReplyDelete
  21. My name is Jonathan.I feel quite incredulous over some of the vitriolic posts on this forum.Over the
    past 5 years I have bought & sold a lot of wine through Steven Langley & in this time I have always found him professional, friendly & accessible.to deal with.

    In the event of his being unable to answer my phone calls he has ALWAYS come back to me within 24 hrs.

    His phone no is : 07557 414504

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hello my name is Paul Ruane.

    I also feel quit sad that the business is now ruined over this forum. Why could Mr Budd simply have asked FCF to make the changes to be in line with his opinions and then allow them to continue to trade and help FCF sell the existing customers sell their wine.
    I have met Steven several times and have spent one week in Germany with helping me go through a difficult time which is a personnel situation to me. He is kind considerate generous and has always helped me. He has sold wine for me over 12 times before this forum appeared.
    His telephone number is 08451213188 and his mobile number is 07557414504

    As i have built a good relationship with him i do know that this forum has literally put them out of business.

    This forum is not legal in the UK which is why it his hosted in Canada.

    Also for Mr Budd to act as judge jury and executioner is beyond belief.

    Finally I would like to say that I was sold £10,000 pound in Rare Earth Metals as Steven was sold the idea by Denver Trading. When Denver Trading shut down and I lost all my money FCF Investments paid me back in full and lost the money themselves. There are nine other customer that they did the same with.


    In short how can you not give them a chance to correct any errors and remove this forum.

    Paul Ruane

    ReplyDelete
  23. Very interesting forum indeed. I am one of the unfortunate investor with FCF who bought Bordeaux
    en-primeur wines at rates much higher than what Farr Viteners and BBX displayed on their website. i even paid 10% commission on top of it. My investment has nearly reduced to 50% of the buying price.

    From past 2 years I have asked FCF to sell my wines portfolio even if it is in loss, but to no avail. There has been no communication from Mr. Steven. I tried calling him on the number mentioned, but that number did not belong to Mr. Steven. I am pretty sure I have tried and called multiple times checking the number before every call.

    Unfortunately I have to pay LCB storage cost year on year which is adding to my losses.

    If FCF has returned their investors their full money then why not in mycase? Why not call their investors and provide assurance that they exists and working towards refunding investors money? Why use this forum to project good light when indeed nothing is happening on the ground?

    Kind Regards,

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hello to the last poster.

    My number is infact 07557414504

    Please call asap.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gave a call, no answer so left a voicemail for you on 07557414504 Mr. Langley.

    -Ritvik

    ReplyDelete
  26. Till now no answer from Mr. Steven Langley who assured me on the phone on 19 May 2016 after multiple attempts to reach him that he will respond on 23rd May 2016 re selling wines to wholesellers.

    -Ritvik

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dear Ritvik. Have you called the landline or my mobile number 07557414504

    Do you really need to add to this forum?

    Why didnt you just text me or leave a voicemail.

    I have been away with ilness.

    Im available all day today.

    Steve Langley

    ReplyDelete
  28. Excuse me, Steve. You know what information I had requested from you which you can send on the email.
    Please don't except me to keep calling you on the number you mentioned or leaving voicemail while you are not bothered to respond.


    -Ritvik

    ReplyDelete
  29. Steven, can you contact me and show these people that your the opposite of what they are saying.
    07944706155

    ReplyDelete
  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete