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Wednesday, 4th December 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What is Monetary Policy?

Generally, the global macro-economic backdrop shapes the high-level decision making process for the investor community.

Investment markets look into the future in terms of economic data by predicting economic trends and data releases and this outlook will shape the asset classes that investors will be either bullish [positive] or bearish [negative] on.

The majority consensus amongst investors then dictates the prices of asset classes and whether or not investors will be successful or not in their asset allocation strategies.

A key measure that investors must consider is Central Bank monetary policy and if they will have an inflationary or deflationary effect. Monetary policy is the relationship between the rate at which money can be borrowed from the economy's Central Bank and the supply of that money.

Monetary policy is defined as loose when base rates are low and

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Wednesday, 4th December 2013

Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O'Sullivan, TD, has published the second annual progress report on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments which points to "even more progress in bringing to a conclusion this most distressing of circumstances left over from the doomed tiger years"

Minister O'Sullivan was speaking at the launch of the report which also includes the results from the 2013 National Housing Development Survey. The survey has been tracking the extent and condition of unfinished housing developments since 2010. "The 2013 National Housing Development Survey highlights the progress that has been made since this administration came to office" she said. In announcing the results she paid tribute to all of the participants on the National Co-ordinating Committee on Unfinished housing Developments (NCC) " I am particularly pleased with the progress made through our collaborative approach at NCC

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Wednesday, 27th November 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

How do I cope with redundancy?

The first time a person is made redundant is usually a shock and there will be grieving and anger. In corporate speak, it's the job role and not people that are made redundant. So you could think of it that it's just business but it is you who loses your livelihood, status and purpose.

The average person can expect to be made redundant at least once and some people even jostle for redundancy – they want the money and a chance to work somewhere better.

While redundancy is a shock, don't get stuck there, draw up an action plan. What are all the job hunting methods you will use and what do you need to do to update your CV details and to get the word out there?

Make a list of all your skills,

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Wednesday, 27th November 2013

The private rental market is currently providing 20% of all housing, with around 260,000 tenancies registered with the PRTB. This accommodation for the most part is good quality, and maintained in good order with prompt repairs by landlords and good housekeeping by tenants. It is a partnership that works when both parties comply with their obligations. However, there are some properties that are not of a good standard which is not acceptable. This can be as a result of landlords, or tenants, not complying with their obligations.

Local Authorities are being paid by landlords to inspect all properties but are not carrying out an adequate number of inspections on a yearly basis. The solution is easy: ensure that all Local Authorities inspect a certain quota of properties on a yearly basis. The pass/fail criteria also needs addressing - if there is

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Wednesday, 27th November 2013

The report shows over 1,600 people contacted Threshold last year because of poor standards in their private rented homes. The most common problems included broken or ineffective heating systems, poor ventilation and dampness. In some cases, landlords were refusing to carry out repairs, and many properties had been neglected completely since the onset of the recession.

Commenting, Senator Aideen Hayden, Chairperson of Threshold, said: "One in five Irish families now live in the private rented sector and, unfortunately, substandard accommodation is a significant emerging issue. This problem is getting worse because of the current economic situation, with many landlords claiming they can't afford to carry out repairs.

"Furthermore, as demand for rental accommodation grows, rents have been rising in major urban areas. There's now a severe shortage of quality properties to let, and families on lower incomes are being forced to move

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Wednesday, 20th November 2013

John Smiles Qualified Financial Advisor

Some really important financial questions

The economic downturn of recent years has affected most people and many are seeking answers to the following questions:

How confident am I that my financial plans will deliver?

Am I aware of all financial options open to me today?

How important is it for me to exert control over my financial wellbeing?

How would my family replace my income if I had died yesterday?

Would my family comfortably survive financially upon my death?

How will my income be generated if I cannot work?

Will employment or state benefits be adequate upon illness or injury?

Do I have a reasonable emergency cash fund in place?

How much of my current income do I want if I retired today?

Am I confident that my current pension provisions will be sufficient?

How aware am I of state pension benefits and how to qualify?

Am I confident

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Wednesday, 20th November 2013

Fine Gael Waterford Deputy, Paudie Coffey, has welcomed the announcement made by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, that Ireland will leave the Troika programme on the 15th of December 2013 without a new credit facility. Deputy Coffey said leaving the bailout programme is historic as it will mark Ireland's regaining of our sovereignty and show that Irish people's sacrifices over the course of the last number of years are beginning to pay off.

"Ireland and Waterford have been through some of the most difficult economic times since the foundation of the State in 1921. This bailout programme was foisted on the Irish people three years ago due to the economic mismanagement and incompetence of Fianna Fáil. Due to that Party's ineptitude, civil servants have had to take massive cuts in their take-home pay and ordinary workers had the Universal Social Charge

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Wednesday, 20th November 2013

New government legislation being proposed by Government will mean that any commercial premises which is currently vacant will be levied with a bill of 50% of the full rates payable. Currently the situation is that all commercial properties do not pay commercial rates if they are vacant. The legislation will come into effect in 2014.

Pending Local Government legislation refers to changing the current process of waving commercial rates on business properties that are vacant. This new proposal is referred to in "Part 5, section 31" of the pending legislation.

Senator Daly commented "This is huge for every county. It will now mean that Local Authorities will start charging the owners of vacant business properties 50% of the commercial rate they would pay if trading. In this economic climate it will crush towns and villages leading to in some cases buildings being

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Wednesday, 20th November 2013

Waterford Chamber and Enterprise Europe Network will host a four-part seminar series on the theme of 'Access to Finance for SMEs' over the coming months. These seminars are aimed at Start-Ups and existing SMEs who would like to develop a clearer understanding of the various forms of finance and funding programmes available.

The first seminar will take place at the Granville Hotel, Waterford on Tuesday, 26th November from 9am-12 noon. This seminar will focus on 'Bank Financing' and there will be presentations from Bank of Ireland, AIB Bank, and Ulster Bank, showcasing their offerings to the Business Start-up and SME market. The Credit Review Office will also present on the day and will detail the process associated with declined applications bank financing.

The second seminar in the series will take place on 10th December at the Granville Hotel, from 9am to 12

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Wednesday, 20th November 2013

Kieron Brennan, CEO, Irish League of Credit Unions

The announcement by the Central Bank that for the first time in our history, a bank has taken over a credit union was a sad day for the Irish credit union movement which has delivered extraordinary service to its membership for more than 50 years.

The news is ever more disconcerting when one considers that in the last five years the Irish banks, which cost the state E64 billion continue to remain moribund. There has been no significant lending and their mortgage arrears problem continues to escalate. In this environment, credit unions, while not shielded from the general economic difficulties, remain a coherent social and economic force in society.

It should be remembered that Irish Banks tripled in size (E201 billion assets to E621 billion assets) between the boom years of 2003 and 2008, borrowing

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Letters to the Editor

  • Editorial

    Church Comes OutTwo people meet, fall in love and decide to move in together.  Not such a big deal?  Well, when the two people are both Roman Catholic Priests then it is of course a big deal.  And the reason that everyone now knows about it is that the two men very recently went to court to settle a legal dispute concerning the ownership of their property following their split.  The case has been settled but the broader questions that arise are far from fully answered.  If there hadn't been a court case v …

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