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Wednesday, 25th April 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Investment Lessons from history

The composition of the world’s stock exchanges is in a state of perpetual flux. Companies that once were household names and industries that were pre-eminent have vanished from public consciousness. Given the rapid advances in technology, can we expect today’s stock market titans to last forever?

In the 1800s canal stocks were in fashion. However, the railways quickly rendered canals redundant leaving shareholders a lot poorer.

The technology, media and telecoms [TMT] sector is a more recent example of overly optimistic investors assuming the sun would never set on a fashionable area of the market. TMT peaked at 32% of UK market capitalisation in 2000 but troughed in 2002 at 12%.

In 2008 there was much talk globally of the ‘mining supercycle’ with the laws of economics apparently suspended for this sector. They were not suspended for

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Wednesday, 25th April 2018

An Olympic athlete, a rugby superstar, a handsome prince and princesses all made for a spectacular afternoon at the Waterford Chamber Business Expo, which took place on Thursday last (April 19th) at George

Corbett Motors.

Sponsored by BMCI Insurance and Investments, the event saw over 80 exhibitors network and support local business.

Waterford’s Thomas Barr and Jack O’Donoghue also stopped by, as did Mayor of Waterford City & County Cllr Pat Nugent, while WLR’s Teresanne O’Reilly brought all the action from the event live across the airwaves.

Speaking at the event, Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan said: "What a wonderful event this is, the coming together of businesses. The clear message from this year’s Expo was that businesses are rolling up their sleeves and doing it for themselves, which collectively strengthens their

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Wednesday, 18th April 2018

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Is it safe?"

Some might remember the 1976 film "Marathon Man", starring Dustin Hoffmam, Roy Scheider and Laurence Olivier, who played the very sinister Dr Christian Szell - a film about Nazi war criminals and stolen diamonds. This was one of my Father's all time favourite films. One I can recall watching with him, as a wee boy of 10 or 11 years of age.

It is amazing that we can all remember one or two particular scenes from our favourite movies. That shock, deep intake of breath moment in the Stephen Rea film, "The Crying Game". You know the one! The one that nobody talked about after leaving the cinema. This made that film and was probably one of the best kept movie secrets of the early nineties.

The scene that would be remembered by most in the

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Wednesday, 18th April 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Artificial Intelligence - the investment opportunities

The possibilities of Artificial Intelligence [AI] were underscored in 2015 when Google DeepMind's AlphaGo programme triumphed over the reigning world champion in Go, a profoundly complex Chinese board game. In 2017, a newer programme, AlphaGo Zero, beat the original AlphaGo, 100 times to nil.

Information technology now allows the gathering, storage and analysis of vast data sets, needed to mimic the computational power of the human brain. This brings hope and also fears that manual work will be replaced by robots and decision-making by algorithms.

In 2012, Google algorithms learned to find videos of cats on YouTube. Google's researchers created a neutral network of 16,000 computer processors with one billion connections that achieved 75% accuracy. The machine was never told what a cat was but it invented the concept of a cat. This technology

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Wednesday, 18th April 2018

Just recently reduced 3 bed detached bungalow conveniently located in Gibbet Hill, Gracedieu, set in a country style setting but yet just minutes to all amenities. Located adjacent to Bowefield, Sherlock Walk and the Carrickpheirish Road with all amenities to include bus service, the new Gaelscoil, supermarkets within a short walk or drive and easy access to Waterford Industrial Estate, the Outer Ring Road and the city centre.

While the property is in need of some upgrading it offers enormous potential for the discerning buyer with its spacious site.

Accommodation comprises of entrance hallway, sitting room, kitchen/diner, 3 bedrooms and bathroom.

The property has the benefit of PVC double glazed windows, back boiler central heating.

Asking price €140,000

BER Rating: G BER No: 110598414 Energy Performance Indicator: 609.71

For further information contact Sherry FitzGerald John Rohan, Manor House, Cork Road, Waterford. Tel: 051 – 843 880. W:

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Wednesday, 18th April 2018

While the economy is improving, the ease at which Irish businesses can get the necessary funding to grow is worse than it was 2 years ago and represents the dominant barrier for new businesses. This was the primary contention evidenced by the latest Big Red Cloud Business Sentiment Survey.

The leading supplier of online accounting software to the Irish SME market asked 250+ business owners/managers throughout Ireland their opinion on what they believe are the primary challenges faced by entrepreneurs, as well the main hurdles faced by already established SMEs. The software providers then compared the findings with the same Big Red Cloud survey conducted 24 months ago.

Speaking of the findings Marc O' Dwyer, CEO of Big Red Cloud,"Sourcing the funds to propel your business forward is always a challenge, but it's notable that in the last 2 years, more business

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Wednesday, 11th April 2018

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Look at me! I’m a Kestrel."

Isn’t nature a wonderful thing? In many ways, a metaphor of our lives. Just when you think you have figured it out, it well and truly turns around and bites you on the backside. There was I and probably thousands of others, thinking that Spring had sprung last week. Then, I put on my new, thinner Lycra to pedal a few more hundred kilometres around our stunning county and suddenly there’s another cold, windy spell of "Unseasonable" weather. Just when will the doubt end?

When will we see a return to the better conditions, which define the Sunny South East?

Whilst out cycling last weekend, I noticed dozens of farmers’ 4x4s, pulling trailers, horse boxes and all manner of load bearing platforms, collecting much needed silage or fodder, for hungry animals, which have

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Wednesday, 11th April 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What are the political risks for investors in 2018?

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and a newly emboldened Russia shows us the world is an unsettled place but financial markets seem to be calm. Most of the recent gains in markets have happened despite possible Russian interference in the US Presidential election; North Korean missile launches and various other potentially alarming events.

This is not unusual behaviour for markets. Since the Second World War, the US S&P 500 has fallen by an average 3.5% in response to shocks from the Cuban missile crisis to the 2014 Crimean conflict. Typically markets regained their losses within an average of 5 days.

The huge liquidity from central banks has helped maintain calm. The knowledge that strong institutions, such as central banks, will intervene in times of crisis, comforts investors, as

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Wednesday, 11th April 2018

Waterford businesses getting greener

The SMILE Resource Exchange has just launched a new environmental support programme available for businesses in Co Waterford interested in finding efficiencies or new opportunities within their current wastes and by-product streams.

This new addition to the SMILE service offering means that members can avail of free expert environmental assistance to identify potential resource efficiencies within their processes, alternatives to recycling or landfill, new product opportunities, linkages with other companies and associated savings.

SMILE Resource Exchange is a national programme that connects businesses throughout Ireland that can reuse each other’s surplus materials, offcuts and waste. The programme now has over 1,500 business members nationally and over 454 successful synergies recorded to date. This equates to an estimated 35,000 tonnes of material diverted from landfill or recycling and a combined cost saving for businesses of over €6.4m million.

"With sustainability fast

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Wednesday, 11th April 2018

The countdown is on for Waterford’s biggest networking event of the year as Waterford Chamber gear up for their annual Business Expo.

'The Ultimate Business After Hours’, which is sponsored by BMCI Insurance & Investments Ltd., will take place on Thursday, April 19th at George Corbett Motors on the Cork Road from 4.30pm to 7.30pm and it is free for the public to attend.

Stop by and join in the fun as local businesses put their best foot forward and showcase their fantastic services. There will be giveaways, fairytale characters, a chance to meet Olympic athlete Thomas Barr and Munster rugby star Jack O’Donoghue and much much more.

WLR’s Teresanne O’Reilly will be broadcasting live throughout the day and Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan says it’s definitely a date for the diary.

"Promoting our members and facilitating networking opportunities is to the core of

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Letters to the Editor

  • Children in the womb deserve b...

    The Government wants us to vote "yes" in the abortion referendum in order to delete unborn children's right to life and allow abortion on demand in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion campaigners claim that there is no human being yet alive by this point. That's why they think abortion on demand is permissible.They are completely wrong. By 12 weeks the baby in the womb has a beating heart, can swallow and yawn, can kick, stretch and jump, has arms, legs, fingers and toes, has fingernails and hair, h …

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