What has the collapse of Prime Trust meant to Unitholders? Part Two
Many unitholders have written to us describing the impact that the collapse of Prime Trust has had on them. The following is our second compilation of the many emails we have received on this topic.
We have $80,000 in the prime trust retirement fund and as a result of not receiving any income from the fund and the value virtually nil our health has suffered to the extent that I now have to take anti depressants and anxiety medication. We are now faced with having to sell our residence here on the Gold Coast. My wife and I’s relationship has become very strained to the extent that we find ourselves yelling at each other when at 68 and 65 yrs we should be enjoying our retirement. I have had to try and get work but at 65 there is not much offering. MD
I heard about Prime Trust & ended up purchasing 100,000 shares at a cost of $100,000, through my financial advisor. I am 53 years old and at the time of purchasing the shares, I owned my home outright. Due to my age & concern that I did not have anywhere near sufficient funds to support me in my fast approaching retirement (I only have $20,000 in superannuation), coupled with the positive feedback from my financial advisor, I decided to take out an equity loan secured against my home for $100,000 to purchase the shares as a means of long term investment to provide me with healthier retirement funds. I have now not only lost these proposed super funds, but have had to sell my home (due to a relationship breakdown) and as I now have no home to secure the $100,000 equity loan against, have had to repay this loan from the sale of my home and now find that I am unable to borrow funds to purchase a new home as the mortgage I would now need for a new home is beyond what the banks will lend me.
I have lost my super, my home and any possible chance of supporting myself on retirement and my income is now being ploughed into rent, which is money thrown away, as it is irrecoverable and no longer being used towards an asset. VS
In our case, the result is serious rather than catastrophic. The Prime Trust debacle has made a significant dent in our super fund and hence our income. One of the aspects of this collapse that interests me is that Prime was Chaired by a former Coalition Minister for Health. His presence as Chairman was one of the things that persuaded me that Prime was probably a sound investment. In all that is going on, I haven’t seen his name mentioned or heard of any comment by him. I guess this potential embarrassment to the Coalition could cause their members not to speak out about Prime. LA
I would like to share the extent of loss I am faced with, now that the Prime Trust has gone into receivership.
I guess we are typical of the self funded retirees who put some of their savings in to Prime trust hands. Their demise has made things a lot harder for my wife and I. I am just concerned that no notice was given of the trouble coming and the fact that they are still sending me advertising about their 55 + Homes available. How come they’re still trading and my shares are worth nothing. Keep up the good work trying to get some justice. GN
I am writing to show our experience due to the Prime Trust fiasco.
I was due for retirement in March this year, but must now continue working to make the repayments for the investment loan, with the investment not producing any income. It may be that I will be forced to sell the house, but for now I cannot contemplate losing my home so I am continuing with loan repayments.
I realise that any action taken by the 'Action Group' may not solve the financial debt I have suffered; but my hope is that the "Laws" will be changed to prevent others having this dilemma. RC
Early in 2007 I went to the Financial advisor that my husband and I had gone to the year before and had been seeing for about 3 years. This time I was solo as my husband died from a brain tumor in December 2006. The focus of the meeting was to discuss strategies to ensure financial stability for my future and that of my two children. It was a very emotional meeting for me as I had never gone by myself. I had just returned to full time work after a 3 month leave of absence. I had a strict budget that I stuck to even though I had some money that I had received as part of a life insurance policy for my husband. I needed to use this money to replace the loss of income from my husband. Upon the advice of the financial advisor, I invested the money in Prime Trust. I researched the investment first and truly felt it had great potential.
The detrimental impact of having invested in Prime Trust has many sides for me:
-Guilt: There is a great amount of guilt about the decision I made. This money represented part of the future security for me and my children. I feel I have let down both my late husband and my children.
-Time: I had the hope that the dividends from this investment would eventually afford me the ability to work 4 days instead of 5 days per week. Working full time, decreases substantially the quantity and quality of time that I have with my children. Since my husband died, my son has suffered with depression. I feel horrible that I can't be there for him more or afford the extra support financially that he requires.
-Future financial security: Firstly there is the education of my children that will be directly affected. My daughter would like to enroll in Psychology when she graduates from Senior High School and my son would like obtain his qualifications in Creative Writing when he graduates from Senior High School. Secondly, there is my own financial security. I am a hard worker and am willing to work, I find however as I get older that managing my full time mother duties and working full time to be very taxing. I have always been a very hands on Mum and it really bothers me emotionally that so much of my time is spent at work, then doing chores and keeping on top of the bills and paper work. I don't go out much at all and both my children work and pitch in as much as they can. I have a severe type of arthritis and lately I find the stress of holding things together really aggravates my condition. Thirdly, is my inability to assist my parents more than I have who live in Canada. It is very costly to fly over to Canada and when my late husband (we moved back to Australia to be near his family when he was sick) and I moved to Australia we made a promise to one another that we would always have the funds to go to Canada. I haven't been able to keep that promise and also my need to work full time restricts my availability to do so.
There are many other ways that this investment in Prime Trust has impacted me, but these are the main ones. P
We are not affected to the same extremes of those experienced by some people who may be losing their homes due to their inability to service loans taken out to invest in this investment. This was promoted by their Investment Advisers who received significant commissions and were still receiving on going commissions during its demise.
At our Advisers recommendation we borrowed monies against our debt free home to invest in this highly recommended entity which later listed on the share market placing our investment at risk.
We retired in 2008 and due to this unacceptable position we have required to return to work so as to repay this debt. We are fortunately in the lucky position of being able to gain work despite our age to repay this poor investment and not have our home put at risk like many others. L&CP
Our loss may not be bad as some but to us it changed our whole life plans.
Prime Trust’s actions, resulted in my wife and I losing $200,000. What made this blow hurt more is that we were new retires and this loss was principal money and not money earned through investment returns and interest.
We needed to consolidate, this resulted in me going back to work. There were not too many opportunities for me here in Sydney, where I lived all my life. An opportunity came my way in far north QLD, where the cost of living would be cheaper, so I took this on hoping to get into the workforce and wait until the dust settled and make some longer term decisions. The move to Gladstone QLD was not totally a good one because the mining boom hit Gladstone and the cost of living went with it. This would have been fine if you were a miner on huge salaries. The other downfall was to move away from our family and children. This has affected us greatly and are waiting with baited breath for some good to come out of this class action group.
Is there an approximate time frame for a result, either way, because this has also affect my health and the anticipation is not helping? WZ
Our story is not as devastating as many that I'm sure will be revealed, however, the impact has been life altering for us so we would like to share the details.
After discussions with our financial planner in relation to structuring our finances to enable us to retire at 55, we were advised to invest in a mixed portfolio, the majority of which was with Prime Trust. On our planner's advice we went ahead and borrowed a sum of $200,000, half of which was to be used for Prime Trust units.
Once the GFC hit and the magnitude of the problems with Prime Trust were made apparent we were left with the debt which we now need to service with no income from the Trust. The other half of our units were with trusts that were over-extended and new financing arrangements are being sought, however, currently we are paying interest payments on the full loan of $200,000 with no income from any of the units we purchased.
The effect of this has meant that our dream of retiring at 55 is over. Fortunately, we have a property investment which can eventually cover the debt. This property will need to be sold, however with property values stagnant for the foreseeable future in Perth, it is unlikely we will make enough from the sale to cover the mortgage on the property as well as the $200,000 outstanding debt for the units for at least another four or five years, by which time we would have passed our planned retirement age. Also, without the investment property to provide retirement capital, we will now not have the funds to retire before age 65. With ever-increasing interest rates we are currently out of pocket approximately $1400 every month with no respite in the foreseeable future.
As I said at the start, there are many out there who will have stories of much greater impact and our hearts go out to all those unfortunate people. Our story is merely a drop in the ocean but has been devastating to us nonetheless. CM
I am unfortunately in the middle of a marital separation, due in no small part to the financial position I am in,I can also name LM Investments---MacQ. property fund -- Wellington --SPS diversified --etc.etc. my life currently is catastrophic hence little or no correspondence. I am 72 and my near ex is 75, forced to sell house too old to get a mortgage----so much for a happy retirement. RH
Good afternoon fellow sufferer, We were saddened to hear of people losing their family homes due to these devious, conniving, deceitful persons in Prime Trust- We are aged pensioners considered hard working like most Aussies!! We married in 1980, the second marriage for us both and after bitter divorces we had to start again from scratch, financially... When you were on the wrong side of 40, then, it wasn't easy, believe me !! We lived in a caravan for the first 10 years of our marriage and for the last 21 years we have been forced into the rental market.... We had no super annuation payouts to help us, and our dream has always been to own our own home, even at this late stage of life...We have scrimped & saved, going without any luxuries or holidays all these years and thought that Prime Trust was an opportunity to make our investment earn us a bit more money than the banks were offering. To some, our investment might seem a small amount, but to us it is a devastating blow for our future. My husband is now in his early 80's and has taken this loss to heart, and has become very depressed and despondent, feeling our struggles for a home of our own, have all been in vain.... We wish the Prime Trust Action Group all success in their battle, and hope for a swift resolution for our woes. P&GC