New Way To Invest In Property

Opromark is marketing itself as “property investment made easy”, and on initial view, it seems like quite a fresh and simple idea. It gives you the opportunity to invest a relatively small amount to own shares in a property (which you choose from a list of properties available). These properties are then rented out and managed by Opromark – you can earn money from dividends paid on rental income, plus if you come to sell your shares and their price has gone up (presumably if the price of the property rises?). Apparently you also get to vote on decisions to do with the properties in which you have shares.

Opromark make their money from charges on your investments, which they say are made transparent so that you always know what you’re paying.

I love these kinds of ideas – something new to the usual financial products (but also reasonably simple to understand). However, with these new products it also pays to be extremely cautious. Investing in property is obviously in vogue at the moment, so it’s easy to see a scheme like this and get carried away – but there are signs that the market is cooling, so it may struggle in the coming months.

A couple of other things need to be remembered – firstly, it is unclear quite how much the charges will be (perhaps I need to sign up for a free account to see if I can find out), and whether there will be annual charges to cover the rental management of the properties. The charges could easily start to eat into returns. It is also unclear how liquid your investment is – that’s to say how quickly you can get your hands on your money should you need to – you may be reliant on there being someone to sell your shares to; in a newly launched scheme there may be a shortage of people to sell the shares to.

Update: One other important thing I forgot to add was that this scheme is apparently not regulated by the Financial Services Authority (I’m unsure if it’s regulated by any official body) – so you may not have anyone to complain to should it all go wrong.

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