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Sideways Glance – To the Manoir borne

One of the best investments I ever made was in the Holiday Property Bond, an FSA-regulated investment in a wide selection of international leisure property.

I must declare an inter- est as I have also done some work for the Holiday Property Bond over the years. The investment is much better value than timeshares and now has over 35,000 investors, more than 1,000 holiday properties and around 200m under management.

I have enjoyed many good holidays, particularly in France and Italy, but there are also many high-quality UK properties and others around Europe and further overseas.

An extraordinary thing about this innovative product is that the satisfaction level of bondholders in a recent poll was 97 per cent and, furthermore, over 48 per cent have invested more in the bond after having been on holiday. Annual encashments have averaged less than 1 per cent of the fund.

Fairly recently, the Holiday Property Bond entered the IFA market and details can be found at www.hpb-ifa.co.uk. It is now looking for link-ups with IFA networks, build- ing societies and insur- ance companies.

In my opinion, the main reasons for its success are the high quality of the holiday properties, the locations and the first-class management, led by the energetic managing director, Geoffrey Baber, and his team.

Some of the properties I particularly like are old buildings which have been tastefully renovated. Good examples of this are Manoir de Hilguy in Brittany and converted villages in the Dordogne and Tuscany. New developments such as La Gomera in the Canary Islands are also first class.

It must be remembered that the bond is an investment in holidays rather than a pure monetary investment although the bond should rise in value in the longer term.

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