How are the investments and products featured on this website sourced?
We have an extensive track record of working with financial institutions, property developers, fund managers, and investment companies worldwide, as well as a strong network which informs us of upcoming opportunities. We are regularly approached by investment promoters and select the best ones to feature on the Smile FS website and newsletters.
What checking or due diligence is done on the investments featured by Smile FS?
We go through a thorough due diligence process for each and every investment opportunity before featuring it, and only feature it if we are satisfied with the results of our research. We make sure that it is a genuine opportunity, has complied with all applicable laws and regulations, and is something which will benefit investors and also our reputation. We decline to feature more often than we feature, to keep the quality high and not waste your time with below-par investments.
How do you choose which investment opportunities and products to feature?
Firstly, we only consider those which pass our due diligence for featuring – all others are eliminated. Secondly, we consider our large and diverse network of investors – would this investment or product be of benefit to some or all of them? Thirdly, is it the best option for its type, or is there a similar and better option? If it’s the best at what it does, or is unique in some way, and passes our strict criteria on due diligence, we’ll feature it and let our network of investors decide whether they like it or not.
Does Smile FS provide financial advice?
No. We provide information about the products and investments featured, we will answer any questions you have about them, and we will help you to access or buy them, but we do not provide personalised financial advice. We give you the information you need to make an informed decision, and you make your own decision. In some cases, we can put you in direct contact with a senior person at the relevant company or financial institution.
Does Smile FS hold or receive funds from investors?
No. Whenever an investment is made, the investor sends the monies to be invested directly to the relevant financial institution or company issuing the investment (or to a custodian account held with a financial institution). Smile FS does not hold custody over any investor monies or assets.
What are the fees and/or charges?
Each product or investment featured on the Smile FS website is different, and therefore some may have different costs than others. In many cases there are no fees or charges, but this is not always the case. If there are any applicable fees or charges these will be clearly stated. Smile FS itself does not charge any application fees, management fees, or consultancy fees.
How does Smile FS make money?
We often receive payments from third party financial institutions and investment managers when we feature a product and/or when someone makes an investment or purchase following our involvement. The amounts we receive can vary greatly depending on the type of investment or product that it is, and in some circumstances we may receive non-cash remuneration which helps us deliver a great service, for example pre-allocation to certain investment opportunities. We do not receive payment for everything featured, and we do not feature everything we are offered payment for featuring. Ultimately, we make money by being paid some of the time, and recommended by our users every time.
Are the featured investments and products government regulated?
In many cases yes, but not always; and not always in your jurisdiction. For example, all of the featured Private Banking products are from large international private banks and therefore regulated, but each product will likely be regulated in only one jurisdiction. This jurisdiction will be clearly stated. For some options, such as Investment Property, it is not a sector covered by financial services regulators and is therefore not regulated by them. If you would like to know more about the regulatory status of one or more of the featured options, please contact us.
Is it possible to use leverage to increase investment returns?
Everything is possible, although because we don’t get involved in the management of assets, any leveraging of them will therefore have to be arranged via a third party. We can sometimes offer Private Banking products which have leverage built into them, which means you get the same exposure as if you entered into a leveraging contract with a lender, but without the relatively high fees involved. Most of the products we feature are not leveraged, and those that are will be clearly labelled as such.
Is it possible to take out a mortgage to buy investment property?
In many cases, yes. Some Investment Property options come with a pre-approved property loan included as part of the offer, and some offer minimum rental return guarantees. Generally speaking, it depends on the specifics of the option you’re considering – all you need to do is ask us and we’ll give you the full information on all options available to you.
Can you recommend reliable third parties who can offer services which you don’t provide?
In some cases, we can provide a good reference for other companies we have worked with in the past, and in other cases we can put you in touch with a company we haven’t yet worked with ourselves, but which has a good reputation. In all cases, we will provide you with relevant factual information, so you are in a position to make your own informed decision.
Does one need to physically meet with staff of Smile FS to get anything done?
No. We are available by email, phone, WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, Signal, Telegram, and several other means of communication but a physical meeting is not required. It may be available in some locations upon request but as a global business we focus on secure digital channels of communication.
Are physical copies of paperwork needed to invest, or can it be done by email?
That depends entirely on the investment or product you’ve chosen; some can be accessed via email and/or online login, others require physical paperwork to be signed and couriered. In addition to tax planning benefits, the Custodian Life investment holding structure also allows for digital instructions and full online access and is highly popular with our investor network. Accounts with our own Smile Fund Supermarket can be opened digitally by email, although an original signed copy of the application form needs to be sent after account opening. We are doing our best to encourage our partner bank in Luxembourg which holds custody of investor assets to migrate the account opening process to a fully digital one!
How does one track the progress of an investment, or see its current value?
Again, this depends on the option chosen – different investments have different ways of being managed and different ways of reporting progress and valuations. The most popular choice for holding investments, Custodian Life, has a 24/7 online system where you can access your accounts and see the latest valuations at any time, as does our own Smile Fund Supermarket. Investors into Private Equity projects are updated directly from the company periodically, and many other investments, particularly specialist investment funds, publicly share their latest valuations via a stock exchange, Bloomberg, and their own websites.
Can you help me invest in something which isn’t featured on the Smile FS website?
That depends on what you’re trying to invest in – if we can help, we will help. Our ability to help may be dependent on whether or not the relevant financial institution will provide information to us and/or the knowledge of our team about that particular investment – if we are not confident that we can provide you 100% accurate information, we will say so and decline. Either way, all you have to do is ask us.
Will you consider an investment for featuring on the Smile FS website?
Yes of course. Please contact us with the details and we will go through our due diligence and selection process as outlined above.
How does one sell an investment?
Generally speaking, the process for selling an investment is very similar to the process for buying an investment. If you would like to sell an investment, please contact us and we will do our best to help you. If you would like to sell a non-liquid investment, such as an Investment Property or Private Equity, we will inform you of how you could do that based on the specific circumstances of that investment.
Is Cryptocurrency an investment?
That depends who you ask – there are many highly respected investment professionals who would say yes, and many highly respected investment professionals who would say no. Our decision to include a whole Cryptocurrency section on the Smile FS website is based on receiving a large number of enquires and questions about Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies. For more information on this topic, please visit that section of our website.
What is your criteria for whether or not someone is considered a “sophisticated” investor?
Different jurisdictions around the world have different criteria for this, therefore we do not have one set criteria which we apply across the board. Some countries base it on the amount of wealth an individual has (often different amounts in different countries), some base it on the type of assets a person already holds in their investment portfolio, others base it on self-assessment by the individual concerned. Ultimately it is the financial institutions or investment company selected who have the final decision on whether any particular individual meets their criteria, and these can vary. If you would like to receive more information in relation to any particular investment or situation, please just contact us.
Can I recommend you to others?
Yes of course – please do so, we are very grateful to everyone who helps spread the word and get more people to Smile!