I met a new client recently who had a problem with an investment in Spain. He had previously lent a friend some money but when the friend got into further financial difficulty and required some more money it was suggested that the two loans be converted into the purchase of shares in a company that his friend partly owned. That company owns some land in Spain mortgage free, doesn't trade and has no debts. Therefore the client was converting a previously unsecured loan into the ownership of something with tangible assets. Assuming that the value of the loan matched up to the value of the shares that he was getting this seemed to him to be a good deal.
Unfortunately the 'friend' had not yet transferred the shares in the company to the client despite the client reminding him several times to do so. The client came to me to try and force his friend to transfer the shares. Whenever things like this happen you have to ask yourself 'why?'
Why had the shares not yet been transferred? Why was this even an issue? Sure enough, after about an hour of talking to the client and dragging the information out of him (he was initially reluctant to talk about why certain things had happened like they did) I think we finally got to the bottom of the problem (although it would not surprise me if there is actually more to this story than we are being told).