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17 July 2003

Harvard Securities

Have you heard of Harvard Securities? Any bells ringing? A friend of mine is looking at an investment property purchase in Pakenham, Victoria.


Yes, alarm bells are ringing. STAY AWAY from them.

For some time, CDs have been placed in stores, usually newsagents, milk bars or fish ‘n chip shops. There is a retail price of $29.95 on the CD. But, of course, the CD is free. I doubt anyone has ever paid $29.95, it’s just part of the deception to make you think you are getting something valuable.

The deception continues with the name of a company on the front of the CD – La Trobe Property Research. It makes consumers think the CD is produced by La Trobe University. There is even a mortarboard and coat-of-arms which creates the impression that you are dealing with an esteemed pillar of respect. But La Trobe Property Research has as much to do with La Trobe University as the Tooth Fairy.

And, of course, Harvard Securities has nothing to do with Harvard University. They are members of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, but you’ll get about as much protection from the Real Estate Institute as you’ll get from the real Harvard University if you end up buying an over-priced property as a result of one of their seminars.

We have heard some unpleasant reports about Harvard Securities. It is rumoured that they take legal action against anyone who says anything negative about them. So, let’s see what they do to us following our advice to consumers about them – STAY AWAY!

You must NEVER buy an investment property without doing three simple things.

1. Get an independent valuation (not one given to you by the company from whom you are buying).

2. Get an independent lawyer (not one connected to or recommended by the company from whom you are buying).

3. Check what happened to other ‘investors’ who bought from this company in the past. Check the RE-SALES of other sales made by this company.

If there is any doubt, DON’T SIGN ANYTHING!

If you wish to send a question or comment to Neil Jenman you are most
welcome. Neil tries to read every e-mail and respond personally. We have posted some of the common questions
together with those we feel may help you. Thank you for your interest.
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