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Julian Gibbs

One of the best investments I have ever made is the Holiday Property Bond. This is not an investment for making money but is one which has given me enormous pleasure over the past 17 years. If I invested today, I would have to put in twice as much as

I did originally, so my holidays have effectively been inflation-proofed.

There are 1,100 properties at over 70 locations from which to choose. Most are now owned by the bond but some are rented, mainly in the summer months, at very low cost.

My favourites include a chateau in Brittany and restored villages in the Dordogne and near Sienna in Tuscany but there are lots of beach holiday properties, too.

A great advantage of the bond is that most of the other 30,000 bondholders are like-minded professionals. The popularity of the bond is such that over 46 per cent of bondholders have increased the original amount they invested in the bond and 56 per cent of new bondholders in 2002 were referred by other satisfied bondholders.

I believe these figures are records for any type of lump-sum investment.

It is much better value than timeshare because investors can take any number of holidays a year as any property that is not reserved within 28 days can be booked outside the bondholder&#39s normal entitlement. Some bondholders take as many as eight holidays a year at low cost.

The directors of the Holiday Property Bond have decided to open up their market to IFAs and are running seminars to explain how it works. Generous initial and trail commission is paid.

When world stockmarkets are flat as at present, this is an alternative investment which IFAs should consider for busy professionals and for those who are in or near retirement.

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