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Wednesday, 20th March 2013

John Smiles - Qualified Financial Advisor

Is Cash still king?

Over the last few years, cash has very much been the choice for Irish investors as other assets have been largely avoided. This risk aversion has been driven by investors' experience during the financial crisis of 2008 and the destruction of wealth in its aftermath.

The ‘flight to cash' was aided by the artificially high deposit rates on offer from the Irish banks just as the focus of investors shifted from capital growth to capital preservation. If an investor could get a ‘guaranteed' rate of return of 5% or more from a deposit, they opted for this and effectively postponed an investment decision.

Another refuge for the risk averse, both here and abroad, has been fixed interest funds. J P Morgan says that approximately US$2 trillion has gone into fixed interest funds over the

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Wednesday, 20th March 2013

Leading property website MyHome.ie has launched a new facility on its website which allows users to calculate the property tax they will have to pay on their home.

The ‘Property Tax Estimator' feature allows users to first of all select a suitable range of recently sold properties and For Sale properties from their area. The Estimator then provides a figure for the tax based on an average value of the homes selected.

Users will be able to filter the most suitable properties for comparison purposes by county and locality as well as by house type.

Angela Keegan, Managing Director of MyHome.ie said the new feature was a straightforward 3 step process which would aid homeowners with the self-assessment process.

"Our ‘Property Tax Estimator' allows users to combine information from the Property Price Register with live data from our list of For Sale properties. It

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Wednesday, 20th March 2013

The President of the SCSI Roland O'Connell said it was important that homeowners used all the information available for comparison purposes and arrived at an accurate valuation within the correct band.

"The property valuation determined now will be used for the next 3 years so it is very important that homeowners, who choose to self-assess the value of their homes, do so diligently and comprehensively to avoid any penalties" O'Connell said.

The SCSI said that homeowners should also be aware of a number of exemptions on property tax, including for first time buyers who are exempt until 2016 if they buy this year. Homeowners should consider the tips below before deciding on a valuation:

1. Determine the market value of the property

Any house, apartment or lodge which is habitable and which could be sold separately will be subject to the tax.

The market value

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Wednesday, 20th March 2013

There's bad news for Ireland's motorists again this month as the cost of both petrol and diesel have continued their recent rise at the pumps. A litre of petrol now costs an average of 162.1 cent, up 2.7 cents in the last month. Diesel also rose, up 1.4 cents per litre to an average of 155.1.

"This is certainly disappointing." Says AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. "Fuel prices have been high for so long that we are almost getting used to it. They have nudged down and then up again in recent months but this is at an enormously high level as sky-high Irish taxes are piled on top of rising international prices."

Crude oil prices have been stable and even down slightly in the last month, with Brent crude benchmarked at around $108 on the markets. The Euro vs

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    Dr. StrangeloveFor anyone who is trying to follow what is happening on the Korean peninsula, what with its promises of delivering 'gift packages' to America, you cannot help but feel that there is a bizarre air of unreality about the whole thing. Trying to unravel the manner in which Donald Trump tries to express himself is one thing but that is as nothing when it comes to the North Korean leadership. What is very clear is that North Korea is adamant that it be allowed to develop its nuclear weapons cap …

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