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Wednesday, 3rd January 2018

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Protect yourself from Ghost Broking

The Gardaí have issued a warning to Irish drivers about the emerging fraudulent practice known as "Ghost Broking”. Ghost Brokers pose as legitimate insurance intermediaries selling cheap insurance policies. In reality, their policies are fake and not worth the paper they are written on.

Insurance is important to protect the things we love and when it comes to car insurance, it is essential that you have the correct cover. Car insurance is a compulsory requirement for motorists in Ireland and it is crucial to have sufficient cover in the event that you cause an accident.

A Ghost Broker is not authorised to sell insurance to the public and is not supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland. A Ghost Broker is acting illegally by pretending to be an insurance broker. In many cases, the Ghost

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Wednesday, 3rd January 2018

year to date and expected to surpass 15,000 for the first time since 2008

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) analysis shows that 14,917 new houses were started in the Jan/Oct period this year. This represents an increase of 35.6% in the commencement of new housing from 11,000 to 14,917 units up to October 2017. If this trend continues, the CIF estimates that total commencements will approach 18,000 by the end of 2017.

CIF Director General, Tom Parlon said:

"The CIF welcomes Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy’s announcement that will see changes to requirements for building apartments in Ireland. We are engaging with the government on this and believe that such guidelines can make the building of affordable apartments in urban centres such as Dublin, economically viable once again. The Government’s changes here are a vindication of our consistent position that apartment building is not

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Wednesday, 20th December 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

“They think it"s all over?”

This time next week, it will all be over for another year. Depending on when you are reading my wee column, there will be 5, 4 or 3 sleeps left, until that big man, dressed in his Coca Cola red costume, drops down the chimney to deliver your presents. That"s assuming you have made it on to his “Nice list!”

There will be more than a few people on Waterford"s “Naughty list” and we hope that Santa deals with them appropriately!

Like so many others, I"ve written to Santa. I let him know about the dozens of promises made to us and how, time after time, we have been repeatedly let down. So many have guaranteed, well almost, to bring X, Y and Z, as well as A, B and C to the Déise.

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Wednesday, 20th December 2017

Dear Editor

My name is Nigel Roberts.

I would just like to tell you what a local company has done for us and maybe you might give it a mention.

We, myself and my wife Fiona, have a severely disabled child. His name is Angus. When the storms hit us a few weeks back we asked friends if they knew anyone with a generator as Angus has a lot of equipment including an oxygen machine and a bed pump that needs to be running constantly, so any power cut can get quite scary.

Anyway, Fiona was looking on Facebook and HW Fasteners were advertising generators so she contacted them to see how much they were.

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Wednesday, 20th December 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Investment needs Investors

At a recent conference in the International Conference Centre, Dublin, Arne Staal, Head of Multi-Asset Quant Strategies at Standard Life Investments, spoke about the increased use of data and technology in investment management. This data and technology provides real investment insights and increases the potential for discovery of false signals.

Passive or algorithmic investment strategies are growing in popularity and are based on big datasets and machine learning This can be a force for good as quantative approaches help investors understand the true drivers of their portfolios and bring hope of better investment decisions and new sources of returns. However, the easier it is to access ‘big data" the easier it is to be misled.

The rise of investment algorithms have coincided with a nine-year bull run on equity markets. Passive funds work best when markets rise

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Wednesday, 20th December 2017

New research shows that it might not be such a happy New Year for Irish consumers when it comes to their finances in 2018. Many admit to feeling less than optimistic about the year ahead, with money concerns and financial woes weighing heavily on people's minds.

New research published by independent price comparison and switching service, Switcher.ie, reveals the extent of consumers" financial concerns for 2018. Rather than looking forward to a happy New Year, money worries look set to remain high on the agenda with little to suggest that consumers" concerns will be alleviated anytime soon.

Already, a huge 95% of Irish adults admit to worrying about their finances. One in five (18%) say they"re always worried, while a quarter (25%) say they often are - just 5% say they never have any financial concerns.

As we head into 2018, this looks

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Wednesday, 13th December 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Tis the season to be jolly?”

Whilst out and about over the last weekend, I was stopped on several occasions to be asked about the mess that is Brexit. I suppose, being so vocal on the politics of Ireland, makes me an ideal person to stop and quiz when it comes to all things governmental in the UK, GB and of course Scotland.

Unfortunately it does appear that the political glitterati, on both side of the Irish Sea, are crafted from a very similar gene pool.

On Sunday last, due to frost and snow my unicycle stayed snugly wrapped under the duvet. I therefore had time to watch David Davis MP (The Tory baddie) squirming on Andrew Marr’s BBC show. He was asked probing question, after probing question on the lies spouted by the leave side, during the Brexit

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Wednesday, 13th December 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Q3 2017 investment review

Quarter 3 of 2017 was another positive period for risk assets with growth of between 2% and 4% in most global equity markets. Government bonds [Gilts] fell in September resulting in a loss for the quarter. The quarter saw modest global growth that surprisingly came from all regions.

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Indices [PMIs] and global trade data suggest that growth will continue with US growth likely to see increased momentum.

Much of the push behind global growth was provided by Central Banks quantitative easing programmes and low interest rates. Central Banks now appear to be moving towards removing that support with the ECB having reduced its bond buying programme and the Bank of Japan and Bank of England likely to follow suit.

The US Fed will likely increase interest rates shortly and begin reducing its balance

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Wednesday, 13th December 2017

A new survey conducted by Christmas FM, the hugely popular radio station which raises hundreds of thousands of euro for charity each year, has revealed that we are an organised nation with 72% of us completing our Christmas shopping by November.

While 18% pick up gifts throughout the year, only one in four of us complete our shopping in December (27%). Just 1.4% of us work best under pressure and leave all the Christmas shopping until the 11th hour on Christmas Eve!

The Irish are generous nation at this time of year with almost one in ten of us (8.8%) spending up to €2,500 on Christmas gifts for others. A little over 25% of us spend up to €1,000, with one in three of us spending between €250 - €500 when shopping for others over the festive season.

Shopping locally is also important

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Wednesday, 6th December 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Terms and Conditions Apply!"

So Frances Fitzgerald finally fell on her own sword - not before putting up a huge, behind-closed-doors fight, with her Fine Gael colleagues. There was even talk about her "having something on Leo?" Nonetheless, he remained so steadfastly on the side of

"She has done nothing wrong and let’s wait for the tribunal, before judging her!"

The trouble was, that Leo’s pantomime Dames were also told, in no uncertain terms, to get behind their Tánaiste. "They’re behind you!"

The spin was "innocent until proved guilty." Then more and more, leaked emails started to appear. Evidence against the Minister was mounting, indications being that Frances knew more about the shenanigans surrounding Maurice McCabe, than she was willing to tell the Dáil. Had she convinced Leo, she was no Panto Baddie, no Wicked Witch?

Pressure mounted on ALL concerned,

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Letters to the Editor

  • A Wonderful Harvest

    Even though the weather Gods didn’t exactly play ball over the weekend it doesn’t take away from the fact that this years Waterford Harvest Festival was yet again another wonderful success. It was great to see the streets of the centre of the city so beautifully and thoughtfully decked out. The various food stalls offering tastes from all over were great to wander around. The information and background that each of the stall holders were able to give on the provenance of their food was really interesting an …

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