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Amanda McMorrow
New member
Username: Amc

Post Number: 1
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 11:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was wondering if anyone has any advice on investing in arable land in argentina. As a 27 year old Irish citizen it is quite difficult to invest in property here as it has gotten so expensive. However I'm conscious that I need to make some of my income work for me now- as I have few commitments at the moment. I have seen a lot of adverts for investing in arable land. It'a a project called project greenhouse (BA, Campana) which requires a min investment of 20,000. Apparently there is a min guaranteed return of 75% as there is an agreement with a buyer who has agreed to pay 50% more than current price. Along with 10% rental it is a total return of 75%.

Has anyone any experience of this? Or any thoughts? It is quite difficult to evaulate an investment opportunity from the other side of the world. I was on holidays in Argentina in November and I'm beginning to regret not looking into this then!
While I am tempted to invest in property in Argentina this appears to be a lower risk option.
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Apartmentsba.com
Advanced Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 358
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 11:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've never heard of this project but I'd be VERY leary of someone promising or guaranteeing a 75% return on a given investment in ANY country let alone South America and especially Argentina.

Real estate is NOT a "get rich overnight" type investment. Trust me on this. If the investment was so lucrative they wouldn't be forced to get secondary buyers. Common sense usually prevails and when someone says there is a "guaranteed 75% ROR" I'd question it.

Remember that many, many, many locals as well as foreigners get cheated on real estate deals all the time here. I remember last year a foreigner from the UK was telling me how she bought some land in a development project and how she wanted to flip it. I remember reading about it in the newspaper the week prior how there was a big scam and some overseas developer was selling land and getting UK citizens to pay big down payments and it was all a big scam. That lady thought I was kidding but sadly I wasn't and I sent her links to the article in La Nacion and the Clarin. The name escapes me now but something like Silver Oaks or Silver Bend or something similar. The lady was so embarrased. She also was told by the developers how they promised to be able to flip it for a great profit in a short amount of time.

I can tell you even today I see buildings trying to do apartment hotels and they are saying things to investors like "we guarantee you will make 10% a year on rentals". One such example is a big building in Palermo Hollywood. Now, I know the rental business better than anyone and I can tell you it's IMPOSSIBLE to guarantee any # of nights. You can take statistical examples but past performance is no guarantee of future results. In this example, this building is charging 40% property management rates (which is higher than any other firm in town) yet they still are claiming to "guarantee a 10% on rentals" each year. Then when you look at the fine print in the contract it is horrible. They have a 3 year contract and you can't back out until at least 15 months. The 10% guarantee is only after 12 months and even then there is no real penalty for them not to achieve it.

Typically if something sounds too good to be true it is! Real estate is NOT a get rich quick type of investment. I'm NOT saying you can't do well on real estate. On several properties I have done extremely well in a short period of time but that is something that should NOT be expected in a real estate investment.

The most important part of what you wrote in your post Amanda is "it is quite difficult to evaluate an investment opportunity from the other side of the world". Now, something I don't understand is you say, "this appears to be a lower risk option". This part doesn't make sense. Why is it lower risk? Just because the purchase price is lower than buying an apartment? This is wrong. Always ignore the purchase price on a real estate investment. Always act as if the investment was a million dollars. You should evaluate any given real estate investment the same whether it's 20,000 or 250,000.

Now, maybe it would be easier to stomache a loss of 20,000 vs. the latter but losing money in an investment is not fun no matter how much it is. I'm NOT saying this is a bad investment. The truth is I don't know this project but I'm leary when I hear someone saying they would guaranty a profit of 75%. If it was that good they would do it themself.

Land can be a good investment. I own several plots of land in various places but keep in mind land for the most part is a non-income generating asset. Now, there are exceptions to the rule but in many places you don't earn income off of raw land. I've always preferred apartments or buildings that can generate income and pay off the monthly/yearly fees on it's own and still generate profits and also the capital appreciation potential.

My advice on this if you decide to proceed is to do a LOT of due diligence. Good luck.
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DAN
Junior Member
Username: Crazygaucho

Post Number: 26
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 2:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think you'd have better chances of getting tour money back if you go to a casino and play roulette and at least you going to have a lot more fun !!!!!! Apartments BA as always is right and he can put it down on better and nicer words but remember "if it is to good to true ....... " 75% return wow !!!!!!! nasdac will go up for ever (remember when it was at 5000 .coms etc)
Real Estate never goes down they not making anymore land!!!!!!
check is on the mail .......
you probably know a couple more and 75% return just sound like another.
some people made that kind of return if you'd bought property in Buenos Aires prime areas in 2001 ,or good areas in USA in 96 and sold it in 2005 or bought amazon.com when it was a $12 and sold it at $200 but those thinks you try to do in your own and sometimes you fail ......you don't advertise in any paper and if goes wrong well you start all over again ...... and don't forget another important rule never gamble with your grocery money....... Very good luck,wish you the best
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Apartmentsba.com
Advanced Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 359
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Wednesday, February 06, 2008 - 3:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dan,

You may be right that it may be more fun and you have better chances at a Casino than some types of investments that promise mega returns on investment.

I've traveled the world over and I look at various real estate investments whenever I travel. I've heard all the sales pitches and done the numbers on many investments where people promise all kinds of returns.

Again, I'm not speaking to this actual project as I don't know it but I can tell you nothing in Argentina is "guaranteed". I've worked in various places and I was an executive before in the USA working with billionare families, large law firms, the largest accounting firms and also institutions like the Federal Reserve Bank before I moved to Argentina. All these civilized countries that are first world it is hard enough making money but here in Argentina it's one of the most difficult places to make money in the world.

I'm not saying it's impossible. I'm good proof of that. Especially on real estate. But anyone that says guaranteed 75% returns is just wrong. Almost nothing in Argentina is guaranteed except for the fact that the country is volatile and unfortunately probably will always will be. There is some kind of disaster here every 10 or 15 years.

The problem is that many people these days mistake "investment" with "gambling". Want to know the world biggest "casino" these days? It's the stock market. It is incredibly volatile and the truth is most people investing aren't doing their homework nor do they do detailed due diligence on what they are doing. Look at the volatility of the stock market and the wild swings. You MUST know what you are doing.

Unfortunately the cheap online trades are good for investors but for "gamblers" it has made it too easy to lose money. Again, I'm not saying you can't make a small fortune overnight in any given investment. I shorted the banking industry last year and made 100% returns in a few months. I also made incredible returns shorting the bond insurers as well (and I pointed out here on this forum when things didn't add up and when the problems first started appearing) but the key thing is detailed due diligence on ANY investment.

Again, I will point out that many investors make a mistake thinking there is less risk just because the stock price is low or the total investment is low. That isn't true. Many people buy cheap stocks because they are affordable yet they would never dream of buying stock in a company like Berkshire Hathaway at $134,800 for a Class A share. This despite the fact that Warren Buffett has a proven track record of providing over 25% returns for the last 25 years.

Everyone wants to "get rich quick" but the truth the best way to become a millionaire these days is slow and steady growth in solid investments. I encourage everyone to use a compound interest spreadsheet and grind it out and invest every year in solid investments.

Amanda, the purpose of these boards is to learn and I think you can get some good information on these boards. Take the time to read over the last 2 years worth of info that some of us have taken the time to write about. Best to you.
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Post-it
New member
Username: Postit

Post Number: 1
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 6:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi,
I am a new member to this forum, though I have followed many of the discussions already for a considerable time. I am impressed by the amount of relevant and very knowledgable comments, which provide excellent guidance to any potential investors in Argentina.
My curiosity was triggered by the questions from Amanda regarding project Greengold. I have also come across this project and find it interesting, but like Amanda said it is difficult to assess a project like this from the other side of the world.

In all fairness, I have to say that the figures are not entirely well represented above; I understand that
- the 'guaranteed' minimum return is 75% after 5 years (beware of compound interest...)
- annual rent income is 10% (idem)
- there is a 'guarantee' that the land can be sold after 5 years for the initial invested amount + 25% (I don't think you have to be Braveheart to guarantee an annual appreciation of +/- 4% on Argentinian farm land...).

All together the figures look good (min. annual -compounded-return of 12%), but not as spectacular -or utopian- as described above. The main attraction seems to be that land prices can go up by more than 4%/year of course, and then the rentability could become really good.

The main questions seem to be (apart from the figures and assuming that it is not a scam...):
- does the investor feel comfortable with the structure (quite a few intermediates/stakeholders)
- do you want to own a piece of land or are you happy to participate in an LLC?
- in how far can you trust all the players involved?
- how strong are the 'guarantees'?

Detailed due diligence, the importance of which is regularly stressed by ApartmentsBA, is crucial, as always.

The project is based on the growing demand for agricultural products. I happen to think that the main global themes of the coming 10-15 years (and probably well beyond) will be: growing population, increased affluence in developing countries, energy supply, energy security, food consumption, proteine intake, forestry, CO2 reduction, global warming.

I could elaborate on this (see the price developments in the last two years of oil, gas and most food products; the outputs of Bali, Davos, Worldbank, OECD/IEA etc), but this is not the place. My point is that all these issues come together in an efficient and responsible use of available land. Many members of this forum will probably agree that Argentina (and certainly Brazil) could be in a unique position in this respect (this could be worthy of a new thread on this forum..). I know that agriculture is a very traditional sector in Argentina, but the sheer numbers will be different in the future. I know also that the usual caveats apply: stable government policies and taxation, internal inflation, financial crises, export (and import) restrictions, protectionism etc.

But personally I think that in the next x years agriculture and ever increasing tourism will bring so much 'hard' (?) currency to the country that it will be difficult for any government to mismanage.

Coming back to the question of Amanda: knowing this and being outside the country, how to 'capitalize' on this? Buying a piece of x hectares of land and having it run by people you don't know or can control is an open invitation for disaster of course. Hence the interest in projects like Gg.

I fully agree with ApartmentsBA that if you consider a project viable, you should go for it yourself and avoid dependence on financial participation of others. However, there are circumstances where an investor invites smaller scale participation.

For foreigners like me Amanda's question is very relevant, it would be interesting to know the experience of others in this type of projects and maybe it is interesting to know also about any other similar projects currently being developed (there must be quite a few).

Very grateful for any reaction.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1505
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 7:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Postit, welcome. Interesting first comments :-)

I think it would have added a bit to have real contact information on their website. At first glance, it appears a UK endevour but then the site points to two other sites which have no contact information. The most serious one seems to have a P.O.Box

The background information is nothing but a reference to print articles about the coming agricultural bubble. I really couldn't find any history for this company. What suprised me the most was to find only one mention to some 'argentine office'... no names, nada. Really, who is behind all this? Specially, who in Argentina is behind all this? The people responsible in the UK means nothing. About the only reference I could find is the mention of SAAM, which can be tracked, but even in this case the association between SAAM and projectgold (movewithus? powerscourt?) is weak.

Renting land and outsourcing the operation to competent operators is nothing new in Argentina. I will say it again. NOTHING NEW. It has been done -successfully- for a long time. I've known first hand friends renting land to grow peanuts who knew little or nothing about farm procedures but were skilled traders who could move bulk to China.

Briefly, I am not saying this is a bad investment. Just that most savvy investors will bet on people, not necessarily projects. Here, there is a blank page while investors are being asked to sign a blank check...
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Apartmentsba.com
Advanced Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 360
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 8:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Roberto - I haven't even bothered to look at this website. Why? Because I would never invest in a project where it's a "joint venture" and where I would put "joint" funds in with complete strangers. I've already talked about the possible dangers about this in another thread on the Pinamar thread.

Obviously 75% spread over 5 years is much different than what was originally assumed in the first post but I stand by my original argument that someone to claim they will "guarantee 75%" over any # of time in Argentina means little to nothing. After all, what can you do to force this issue? Look at the newspaper every single day. You read about lawsuits from 1998 that are getting settled now. The truth is that any lawsuit takes at least 2-3 years (minimum) to get in front of a judge here so very few people initiate lawsuits here. How in the world could you even dream of the enforceability of some promise of 75% return. Never forget this is a country that took people's life's savings and converted it for a fraction of what they saved.

Again, NO investment company should be ever saying things to ANY investor in Argentina that "I promise you X% over 5 years". NONE. The first thing I tell my clients is I can't guarantee any % per year. Why? I can't control how many nights get rented per month/year. You can have the greatest apartment in the world yet what happens if they start doing a VERY loud construction project in front of that building and it doesn't rent out? Or what happens if you have a GREAT flat but the neighbor above you has a pipe explode and water leak ruins your apartment? Things happen here. Certainly no credible company should be promising any guaranteed returns. Why? Because too many things can happen over the course of 5 years. It's reasonable to give a projection based on certain projections or give historical projections based on past performance but any ethical company that deals with investments and finances not only in Argentina or around the world will never promise any %.

So, what are you going to do being a foreigner on some supposed 75% "guaranteed" payout over a number of years. To me, every investment has a risk/reward ratio and certainly you have to keep that in mind. There are plenty of safe investment opportunities around the world in first world countries that pay good returns over 5 years.

Like you Roberto, I'm NOT speaking about this project. Really I've never heard about it, and won't even take the time to even look at their website? Why? Because I'd never invest in a project like this with complete strangers and as you say, people using a PO Box and no track record at all.

As you say, there are lots of articles on the agricultural potential of "green energy". I'm not even saying I argue with the people saying the potential for land in Argentina and green energy and biofuels isn't a major potential. In fact, I think it does have potential and in fact land prices in many areas have gone up a good 30% in the past year due to this potential. What I AM saying is I wouldn't invest in a project blindly promising some kind of return.

The plain fact of the matter is there are TONS of deals/projects out there but the thing is that most deals that have good potential don't need to get potential strangers. From my time living in Argentina the past several years and studying the real estate market here actively for over 6 years now, it is that the great deals get put together by friends and family and close business associates. NOT complete strangers.

Things are complex in Argentina and involve LOTS of red tape. Seemingly simple things are extremely complicated. I could write a book here on it and I can tell you first hand how complicated it is. I have started 5 corporations here including one building a hotel. Things here are a nightmare. So, understand the potential before you invest blindly into a project where complete strangers are getting grouped together. Again, I'm NOT talking about this specific project. And I'm not saying there isn't a lot of money to be made in real estate in Argentina. There certainly is.

But consider this. When I want to build a building and I need $X MILLIONS of dollars. I don't put up some vague website or solicit strangers. If it's a solid investment project I don't even have to "sell" it. The investors that I know and have a personal relationship or experience with fund the project NOT strangers. As Roberto said...here in Argentina the most successful and wealthy citizens/investors invest in "people" not projects.

I've learned in Argentina the best investments are the ones you never hear anything about or it's never offered to the public. It's one that was financed from serious investors and again, it's mostly done by people that have a relationship with someone.

Do a search in Clarin or La Nacion for the article I was talking about. It was some scam last year out of the UK that sold land in some development. I'm too busy these days to look it up but it was called "Silver" something. I'm not sure how it turned out but it was in a few of the papers here.

When dealing with real estate the things I recommend when you see some kind of potential opportunity is ask whomever is behind the website for all the principles involved in the project. Ask what other projects they have done in the past. Ask them for client references, ask to meet them in their office. Tell them you would be happy to pay an initial consultation fee (in fact I never meet anyone without a fee). If an investor is serious they will pay a fee. If they don't it means they aren't serious. Ask them what experience they have with real estate. How many deals they have done. If they have experience in Argentina. What experience they have in Argentina. Ask them for detailed rate of return spreadsheets and how exactly they are basing their "guaranteed projections". Any sizable project will have good people behind it. Ask them which companies will be involved with the project? Then do due diligence on those companies and find out what projects they have worked on before. Ask them if they produced similar returns on those other projects. Ask them if they are licensed to do business in Argentina. I've found there are many "consultants" now in Argentina that popped up and many of these Americans don't even have a DNI to legally work in Argentina nor even have an office. They are working out of their apartments. Remember any one can have a website these days.

Remember, always consider the risk/reward ratio in an investment. As I've always said before over and over the past several years. Investing in South America / Argentina is NOT for everyone and in fact is NOT for the majority of investors out there. People like Roberto and a few others that REALLY know Argentina know what a glorious place Argentina is and they know the potential but they also know the "seedy" and bad side of Argentina.

The difficult part for most tourists are they come to the city or the country as a tourist and only look at it from the view of the tourist but they don't understand Argentina really nor it's past. They don't understand how complicated things are here. Most Argentines do. Most Argentines trust very few people, especially with their hard earned money for good reason.

Again, I'm NOT saying investing in South America is a bad thing. The exact opposite. I've invested millions of dollars in South America and it's been very lucrative. All I'm saying is on ANY investment do your due diligence and know what you are buying. There are plenty of opportunities on land in different areas for the small amounts of money you are talking about. Some less with no need to partner with anyone. For example, a few years ago I started buying up plots of land in La Barra near Punta del Este, Uruguay. Some plots of land for as little as u$s 25,000. With extremely little property taxes each year and a very stable banking system. Some of those plots of land I'm getting offers of $65,000 now. I won't sell as I know the values will keep going up. My point is that there are plenty of investment opportunities with good capital appreciation potential without blindly investing in something/someone.

Good luck all.

PS - Post It - tourism is already bringing in BILLIONS of dollars each year now to Argentina. It's a cash cow for Argentina and the government finally has woken up to that fact and starting to market Argentina around the world now as a destination and you should see more of that. It's the third largest source of income for Argentina. It should continue to grow.
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DAN
Junior Member
Username: Crazygaucho

Post Number: 27
Registered: 7-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 10:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

very savy words once again from apartmentsBA
"I've learned in Argentina the best investments are the ones you never hear anything about or it's never offered to the public".
usually in investments what everybody knows isn't worth knowing
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Paul Miller
New member
Username: Paulmiller

Post Number: 1
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 8:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

TAKE CARE !!!! Espero alguien pueda traducir esto... Tengan cuidado, se trata de una estafa !!! un robo !!! GREENGOLD, MOVEWITHUS, FOOD WATER & ENERGY, FABIO ROIS, todo esto es una estafa !!!!!!!!! Ladrones !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=903807

SILVER TREE CLUB
MOVEWITHUS
SOUTH AMERICAN ASSETS MANAGEMENT
FOOD WATER ENERGY
ETC
ETC

TAKE CARE !!!!!!!!!!!!
CUIDADO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
DANGER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1852
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 1:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Test
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Apartmentsba.com
Senior Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 767
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 2:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, that is indeed the project that the woman from the UK that called me and got cheated on. Since I posted this another person from the UK contacted me trying to hire me to help her but there is nothing I could do.

I'll repeat again. NO ONE in Argentina should be saying they can GUARANTEE any % per year on most investments. In many respects Argentina is still like the wild west. I'm not saying there are not good investment opportunities here because there are. My opinion has always been that in this kind of project there is no way they can guarantee these types of returns. Too many things can happen over the course of 5 years and it's best to do a lot of due diligence.

Also, I'd say that people should be careful on new construction speculation projects that are just starting now. Personally I'm not buying anything that isn't about 9 to 10 months out from being done. In the past 5 years I've done very well with new construction buying at the hole in the ground stage but I stopped due to the uncertainty of developers actually finishing or having difficulties finishing.

Cheers all.
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Post-it
Junior Member
Username: Postit

Post Number: 26
Registered: 2-2008
Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 5:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

This looks alarming.

But a 'Paul Miller' that can't even get these simple words translated into English...
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Apartmentsba.com
Senior Member
Username: Saint

Post Number: 768
Registered: 5-2005


Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 5:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Also, just to be clear my last post wasn't speaking about Project Greengold. I was saying that the link that Paul Miller posted was the project that I was referencing earlier in my post of February 6, 2008. (Silver Tree Club).

I have no clue about other projects and not speaking about them when I post.

I was speaking in generalities but I will reaffirm my opinion that no investment company in Argentina should be "guaranteeing any % per year"

I don't even think Bernie Madoff had the nerve to promise his investors a 75% return over a certain period of time. And examples with investment gurus like Warren Buffett's fund losing as much as 50% in a very short amount of time should show people that there is risk in almost every investment out there that has the potential to pay high returns. Sure, over the long term Buffett and other gurus will probably do ok but it's a good real life example of how even the best can lose large % amounts in a very short amount of time.
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Paul Miller
New member
Username: Paulmiller

Post Number: 2
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2009 - 6:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sorry but my english is not good.
I was speaking:
movewithus.com.ar
food-water-energy.com
saam-sa.com

In all company FABIO ROIS and Claudio ROIS as CEO.


This looks alarming
Why not sale proyect "Greengold" in www.movewithus.com.ar ??? and yes in www.movewithus.es ???


NO ONE in Argentina should be saying they can GUARANTEE any % per year on most investments.

Green Gold Capital, Optimun, Equity ...
SCS Farmland proyect

I am not saying investing in South America is a bad thing. I'm saying take care with this:
FABIO ROIS
CLAUDIO ROIS
movewithus.com.ar
food-water-energy.com
saam-sa.com
Green Gold
SCS Farmland


Good luck all.

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