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Wednesday, 14th February 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Pension auto-enrolment - does it work?

Last September, in a speech to the employer's group IBEC, Leo Varadkar announced the centrepiece of the upcoming national pension plan – "auto-enrolment". He told the audience that two-thirds of private sector workers in Ireland have no pension and warned that the time bomb must be addressed now.

In the UK, the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) has published a briefing note on the impact of auto-enrolment on younger people and future generations. The briefing note highlights the change in participation brought about by automatic enrolment, and uses case study projections to consider the types of outcomes for individuals.

Approximately 11 million people make up the 'target group' of savers who are supposed to benefit in some way from auto-enrolment. Of those, 40% are millennials, born between 1982 and 1995.

Savings data for eligible employees suggests

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Thursday, 8th February 2018

There are no certainties in life except for death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin said that a couple of hundred years ago and was right on the money – pardon the pun. Another certainty in life that can be added is – trash. There is a never ending battle to reduce trash. Strangely enough there is also a never ending battle to increase taxes.

The need by councils to impose a tax on a utility smacks of plain greed. But if you looked deeper into the reasoning you will not be surprised to know why. How many councils and governments have sold off their utilities? Sold of the energy business – gas and electric, sold off the water supply. So you now need to be taxed on what was a one of charge before. We call that double dipping.

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Wednesday, 7th February 2018

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Are you counting cranes?”

Last week, Deloitte published their "London Winter Crane Survey”.

I heard about this survey on the BBC Breakfast programme, so I had to have a wee look. The interactive website lets you explore in real time, the building works taking place, right here, right now, across London. It’s not surprising to see that the vast amount of construction work, is taking place in the heart of this great City.

The statistics, if you are interested, are simply mind boggling. There are numerous developments upwards of 250,000 square feet and even a few over 1,000,000 square feet! Developments that we here in Waterford can only aspire to. If you use your imagination, you might just be able to see a crane or two, whilst you fantasise!

There are of course, some key headline grabbing findings. The survey

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Wednesday, 7th February 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What are the dangers of investors 'Chasing Performance’?

In the current era of low deposit interest rates, many low and medium risk investors are increasingly dissatisfied with the returns they are receiving on the cash and bonds portion of their investment portfolio. Some investors may be tempted by a 'hot tip’ or an investment that has recently out-performed, but if they acted on this, they risked 'chasing performance’ - buying high and selling low. The latest 'hot tip’ may seem tempting, but unless the 'opportunity’ was thoroughly researched, they seldom produce the returns hoped for.

Investors should be aware of the tip’s source and be sure it does not involve inside information which may be designed to talk up the value of a security by a vested interest. Always remember, due to the cyclical nature of the market, today’s

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Wednesday, 7th February 2018

bungalow in Orchardstown, Butlerstown

Purcell Properties recently brought to the market an attractive 3 bedroom detached bungalow located in Butlerstown, Co. Waterford. The property is complimented by a detached, fully functional workshop and log cabin which is floored and wired.

Situated on a private mature of circa 0.33 acre site. The selling agents are quoting a guide price of €240,000.

This super-efficient home comprises of an entrance hall, living room, spacious kitchen/dining/sitting room, three bedrooms (one bedroom en suite) and main bathroom.

This property also benefits from Kingspan External Insulation, Oil fired central heating and Cedarwood Argon filled PVC windows.

Within easy reach of a host of amenities and local attractions including Whitfield Clinic and the stunning Waterford Greenway, Outer Ring Road, Tramore and Waterford City.

In a comment, Conor Purcell of Purcell Properties said, "this cosy, detached bungalow, partnered with its fully functional workshop is

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Wednesday, 31st January 2018

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Meow, meow," Claws are being harpened once again!

So it begins, afresh. Other regional players, are indicating that the South East should NOT work together, for the betterment of the 500,000 people living and working in this wee corner of Ireland.

To have to listen to a senior stakeholder, from Kilkenny Chamber, stating that the development of the North Quay would be detrimental to Kilkenny, is maddening (however, not surprising, if the truth be told, given his parochial reasoning, that it would be detrimental to Kilkenny, if it should go ahead). This from a business body that not so many years ago, went through its own internal enquiry, looking into some, well let me say, abacus financial accountability. How can a lobby group, created to "Advance business together" and be "In business for business", have such a myopic

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Wednesday, 31st January 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Simple rules for better investing

The fund industry has grown massively in the last 25 years. It has changed to be a better-run, more professional, and lower-cost business. Here are some key lessons for investors:

Build a plan and stick to it. Build from the core out. Make sure most of your money and attention goes to core equity and fixed-income funds.

Keep costs low, but evaluate whether some services, like financial or tax advice are worth paying the price for if you don’t have the time or investing acumen to do it yourself.

Choose funds that are good bets for five years from now because they have depth of managers and analysts, low costs, and strong stewardship to keep them on the right path.

When monitoring your funds, pay more attention to the manager, the analysts, and the fund company behind

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Wednesday, 31st January 2018

Purcell Properties recently brought to the market No. 33 Morrison’s Avenue, located immediate to various primary and secondary schools, bus routes and within walking distance of the city centre.

No. 33 Morrison’s Avenue is an attractive two bedroomed mid terrace property comprising entrance hall, large open plan living/dining room, kitchen, shower room and utility on ground floor with two large bedrooms at first floor.

This attractive property affords low maintenance rear garden and on street parking.

In a comment Conor Purcell of Purcell Properties stated "No. 33 Morrison’s Avenue is an attractive, well positioned property, for sale at a guide price of €119,950. We have already received strong interest"

Further information to arrange a viewing contact Conor on 086 3858129.

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Wednesday, 31st January 2018

homeowners anywhere between €1,200 and €3,600 a year

Experts at MyMortgages.ie, one of Ireland’s leading mortgage brokers, have reported a flurry of activity in the mortgage switcher market since the beginning of the year. The brokers forecast the switcher market alone will experience double digit growth in the first 6 months of the year, as an increasing number of mortgage holders learn of the money saving option.

Figures from MyMortgages.ie have revealed that on "average" mortgages throughout the country anywhere between €40,000 and €100,000 could be saved by moving to another lender.

Joey Sheahan, Head of Credit at MyMortgages.ie believes a number of factors that have led to the influx in enquires they have experienced in the last 2 weeks, "We have experienced a 3-fold increase in the volume of enquiries received since January 2nd from mortgage holders all over the country wondering

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Wednesday, 24th January 2018

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

“Round and round and round we go!”

It’s official, Waterford City now has one of the largest “Roundish-squarish-abouts” in the county and probably the South East. The urban regeneration plans/works are in full swing and there are new road layouts springing up everywhere. Though we need not be surprised by this, as there was ample consultation and lots of opportunities to feed into the process, from as far back as 2015 (I think!).

I have to admit, that I’ve not had the occasion to try the new route, at “Rush-hour”, around the College Street, Bath Street, Manor Street, Railway Square loop. However, having been up and down on several occasions, it appears to be working well. The surface is a pleasure to drive on and don’t the new white shiny road markings look the business?

“Surprise, Surprise”, there were

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Letters to the Editor

  • Waiting can be bad for your He...

    When the latest statistic that waiting times for patients had risen to their highest level yet, there can't have been too many people that were surprised.There are now over 700.000 people on waiting lists with over 50.000 of them children. That so many people are waiting for treatment in one of the most developed economies in the world is truly frightening. Of course you can take into account the underfunding of the health sector during the economic downturn but it still wouldn't fully explain why so ma …

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