Sunday, 19th August 2018
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Wednesday, 18th July 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Footballers in 'legal' action

With the football World Cup just completed, a different kind of 'match' took place recently in the UK High Court, London.

Four former Premier League footballers, Robbie Savage, Danny Murphy, both BBC soccer pundits, Brian Deane and Jason Wilcox, sued Royal Bank of Scotland, owner of Coutts, the Queen's Bank for being in 'joint enterprise' with their advisers over a controversial property scheme that left a raft of stars with substantial losses.

The lawsuit relates to investments that were originally made in 2004 for the purchase of apartments in Monte Resina, Spain which cost a total of €7 million (£6.1 million) and investments in Charlotte Harbor in Florida. The development in Spain comprised 10 apartments in a single complex and the claimants each bought one flat. Coutts and RBS Gibraltar were the banks that provided lending

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Wednesday, 18th July 2018

KBC Bank Ireland's Chief economist, Austin Hughes, will deliver a presentation on The "new normal" for economies and financial markets to a group of KBC Bank clients in Waterford on July 19th.

In the context of this presentation, Mr Hughes looked at current economic conditions in the South East of Ireland and recent developments in the Waterford housing market.

Economic conditions have improved significantly in Waterford and the South East in recent years. The turnaround has been uneven but the recovery in the South East has broadly mirrored that seen across the Irish economy as a whole although this upturn has been more modest than that seen in Dublin.

New developments and initiatives such as the Waterford Greenway should support further gains in activity and employment.

Job gains in the South East have closely tracked the national average. A slightly poorer trend in employment

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Wednesday, 18th July 2018

Michael Garland bizBoost PR

Ireland

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Wednesday, 11th July 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Behavioural economics and financial products

People often make errors when choosing and using financial products and can suffer considerable losses as a result. Using behavioural economics we can understand how these errors arise, why they persist, and what we can do to ameliorate them.

Behavioural economics uses insights from psychology to explain why people behave the way they do. People do not always make choices in a rational and calculated way. In fact, most human decision-making uses thought processes that are intuitive and automatic rather than deliberative and controlled.

Our preferences are influenced by emotions and psychological experiences.

- Present bias - spending on a credit card for immediate gratification

- Reference dependence and loss aversion - believing that insurance added on to a base product is cheap because the base price is much higher

- Regret and other emotions i.e. buying insurance for peace of

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Wednesday, 11th July 2018

Michael Garland bizBoost PR

Connect Four

You know that game! The one with the blue plastic sandwich board, balancing on two wobbly feet. Covered in 42 circular holes, into which you fit your wee red or yellow pieces. A game for two-players, who take alternate turns to drop their coloured disks into the slot to "Connect Four" in a row, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. An abstract strategy game that would realistically take between 1 and 10 minutes to play.

There are, apparently, over four and a half trillion game piece combinations, on the 7 by 6 play board grid. A tricky wee game, that came out in the mid-seventies and was the must have present at the time of release. It is a game where your strategy, could in due course, benefit your opponent's strategy.

Connecting four for Waterford, would certainly help our

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Wednesday, 4th July 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Brexit and Irish insurance policies?

Under the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017, the Parliament of the United Kingdom empowered the Prime Minister to give to the Council of the European Union the formal notice for starting negotiations for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

In March 2017, the United Kingdom triggered Article 50 to begin its withdrawal from the EU.

The actual withdrawal is scheduled to occur in March 2019, followed by a transition period to December 2020.

To date there has little progress on the transition period, so Financial Services providers and Insurers are now at the point where they must put in place alternatives in the event of a hard Brexit.

Under the EU Insurance Mediation Directive, many life and general insurance policies written in Ireland are issued by UK insurers operating as an Irish branch

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Wednesday, 4th July 2018

Michael Garland bizBoost PR

Considering that I lodge my article the Friday before it reaches your doorstep, I have to write with a wee eye on what's likely to happen next week. Now that is difficult at the very best of times.

However, being Scottish makes that even harder, as we are naturally good at dealing with the here and now, but trying to second guess the future is a wee bit harder for us.

We are pragmatic, realistic, no-nonsense and matter-of-fact. You'll know that you have Scots in your blood, if you stop talking and listen, when bagpipes are playing in the background.

You'll quite happily eat the odd Haggis or two, despite knowing what it's made of, love watching "Braveheart", even though you know it is a historically inaccurate Hollywood fairytale.

You'll be prepared at any moment to risk injury, life and limb,

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Thursday, 28th June 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Should I consolidate my pension funds?

The recently published 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey found that 43% of those surveyed see themselves leaving their current jobs within two years. Only 28% plan on staying beyond five years.

This employment pattern has become the norm so it is not unreasonable to assume that a 30-year old will have worked for between 7 and 15 employers by the time they reach 68.

Research from LinkedIn confirms these findings; claiming people will change jobs up to 15 times during their working lives.

Retirement funding for the current generation could become quite troublesome as pension pots are accumulated across numerous employers. Keeping track of the various plans will become more and more difficult with each changing job. At retirement age, will they be able to track each of the pension plans and get access to their

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Thursday, 28th June 2018

Michael Garland bizBoost PR

Keep it clean!

It seems like Summer has finally decided to turn up. Better late than never, I suppose. The weather has started to give us more than 24 hours of heat and thankfully, the rain has only visited us once or twice, in the last few weeks.

This of course means that many of us will be heading out to visit our wonderful countryside. Additionally, thousands of returning visitors and hopefully including the exciting potential, of lots of first time tourists, will visit our quirky City Centre, outlying towns and villages.

That "First impressions count" has never been so important to Waterford, than now.

The potential of significant growth, as outlined in the 2040 Government National Planning Framework, the North Quays crossing the finishing line with An Bord Plean

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Wednesday, 20th June 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Cryptocurrencies - how do they work?

Most crypto-currencies are designed to work as a medium of exchange; using cryptography to conduct transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets.

In the case of Bitcoin, and most other cryptocurrencies, no central authority or server verifies transactions. Instead, the legitimacy of a payment is determined by Bitcoin 'miners' - a decentralized network of computers, which race to confirm transactions by solving a mathematical puzzle, thereby earning a reward in new Bitcoins.

This puzzle becomes steadily harder to solve, thereby limiting the supply of new coins.

The Bitcoin network collects all of the transactions made during a set period into a list, called a block, and writes them into a general ledger.

Each time a block is 'completed', it gives way to the next block in the 'Blockchain'. A block

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Letters to the Editor

  • Our View

    Rush to CriticismThere are not many people who at this stage have not heard about the Cash family and what happened to them. The mother and six of her children had to seek accommodation in the Tallaght Garda Station last week as they had absolutely nowhere to turn to. It led to an outcry as pictures of the young children sleeping on seats were posted to social media by the mother.Understandably there were a lot of people who were saddened to see that in this day and age that a family had to resor …

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