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Tuesday, 24th January 2017
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Wednesday, 22nd June 2016

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Do you know where your pension pots are?

It is now common for people to have many employments throughout their careers and it is not unusual for them to have numerous pension arrangements.

The most frequently asked question of financial brokers is, "should I move all pensions into one pension pot?”

Sometimes, it can make real financial sense to bring together your various pension policies into one pot. This way you will have a better idea of how much money you've invested and how to plan effectively for the future you want.

It's possible that the charges you pay on a single consolidated policy will be lower than the charges you would pay for several small ones. Merging your policies means that you know where everything is and that can make it easier for you to keep a closer eye on

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Wednesday, 15th June 2016

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What sectors would be most affected by a Brexit?

On June 23, the UK will vote on whether to remain in the EU or to leave. Since the referendum was called some months ago, polling has suggested the Remain side holds a small lead over the leave side. Polling experts tell us that as we approach voting time, undecided voters tend to opt for the status quo and will vote to remain. The bookies are still odds on that the UK will remain in the UK after the vote. Overseas investors however have pulled billions of pounds out of UK investment funds in recent months with US investors in particular leading the charge to divest themselves of UK and European assets.

If the bookies and the polls are wrong and the UK votes to leave the UK, what happens

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Wednesday, 15th June 2016

The 2nd National Construction Summit will be held this month in the RDS, Dublin. The free to attend event, which will be jointly chaired by Tom Parlon, Director General, Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and Tom Moloney, Chief Executive, Construction Information Services (CIS) offer a platform for discussion and debate on the future of one of Irelands most important sectors.

The event will be opened by Damien English, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal. Key note speakers including Mary Buckley, IDA, Phelim Devine, Design Director of the E800m National Paediatric Hospital, Fiona Cormican, Cluid Housing, John O Hara, Dublin City Planner, Pat Barry, Chief Executive, Irish Green Building Council, Tom Phillips, Chairman Property Industry Ireland and Garry Connolly, CEO, Host in Ireland. In total the eve will comprise over 170 speakers, 1 main stage, 6 seminars, 110 exhibitors and 20

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Wednesday, 15th June 2016

The Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA) has launched a blistering attack on the new Minister of State for Education & Skills, John Halligan, over offensive and undignified remarks made in public statements about Irish landlords.

Speaking to IPOA members, Stephen Faughnan, IPOA Chairman, said that Minister Halligan's remarks "border on incitement to hatred and could be contrary to legislation on incitement to hatred" and that the Minister of State should seriously consider his Government position "given his crucial role in Irish education". Mr Faughnan went on to say that the comments were "despicable, filthy and foul mouthed" and do not represent the crucial role played by the providers of good quality affordable accommodation to over 700,000 people".

Minister Halligan's comments, published online and in other outlets, were that he would "jail the bastards", referring to landlords, which Mr Faughnan said were followed

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Wednesday, 8th June 2016

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Why were Mortgage Lending restrictions introduced?

In 2008, following the collapse of the banking and construction sectors; property prices in Ireland fell sharply. Many homeowners found themselves in negative equity – a loan bigger than the residual value of the property. For those who managed to keep their job, this was a difficult situation but for those who lost their jobs or who suffered a reduction in salary or a reduction in hours, it was catastrophic.

Although Government policy initially helped reduce the level of repossessions of properties, the subsequent economic recovery placed huge upward pressure on the housing market. Prices and rents both rose, with a consequent rising level of homelessness.

In February 2015 the Central Bank introduced new mortgage lending guidelines intended to limit lending in two ways:

- Loan-to-income (LTI) restrictions impose a limit of 3.5 times gross

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Wednesday, 8th June 2016

Efforts already underway to attract an alternative carrier Waterford Airport has expressed disappointment at the decision of VLM Airlines to cease their Waterford-London Luton service this month.

The airport has been advised that VLM flights on the route will be discontinued from June 16.

However, a previously-arranged and already announced break in service will run from June 8-15.

Desmond O’Flynn, CEO, Waterford Airport said: "We are obviously very disappointed at this decision and appreciate that it will have an impact on the travel plans of many people who had intended flying on the route during the busy summer period.

Indeed, more than 45,000 people flew on the Birmingham and London Luton routes operated by VLM Airlines since they commenced in April 2015.

Air access to the UK and, especially, the greater London area remains the number one priority for Waterford Airport given the importance of

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Wednesday, 8th June 2016

Continuing its commitment to improve the service it offers to the local community, Specsavers Waterford has relocated to a larger premises at 31-32 Square Shopping Centre, City Square Shopping Centre. The celebrate the opening of the new state-of-the-art optical and hearing facility, Waterford’s number 1 radio station WLRFM will broadcast live from the store on Friday, 10 June.

Specsavers Waterford now boasts five optical testing rooms and a dedicated hearing room complete with a soundproof booth to ensure the most accurate results when conducting hearing tests. The store has also invested in sophisticated optical technology, iHarmony, which links with the store’s iPads to make the process of dispensing spectacles smoother and quicker. Speaking of the relocation Store Director Garvan Mulligan said, "At Specsavers, we are committed to developing and improving our stores so that customers have access to the latest technology

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Wednesday, 1st June 2016

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Are Dividends important?

George Ross Goobey, an actuary and investment manager for the Imperial Tobacco pension fund was one of the first investment managers to invest in equities rather than bonds. His rationale was that, over time, dividend income from a well-chosen basket of shares would grow and exceed the flat yield from government bonds. Capital appreciation in the underlying shares was simply a bonus that was not part of the rationale, but as more people converted to the income argument and bought shares, share prices went up and yields went down, leading to the crossover of equity and bond yields. This crossover between equity and bond yields proved excellent in 2003 to highlight a great buying opportunity for equities after the technology crash and in 2009 as the Financial Crisis neared its end.

Now it is normal for

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Wednesday, 1st June 2016

Demand for construction and property workers doubled in Munster and Connacht this spring* compared to the same period last year, according to new figures released by leading recruitment experts, Hays Ireland.

Health & safety officers, electrical estimators, quantity surveyors, structural design engineers and building services engineers were the most in-demand professionals, whilst electrical estimators and structural design engineers in particular remain among the most difficult roles to fill. As a result, many companies are looking overseas to fill talent gaps.

The outlook for salaries is positive and continues to improve. Intermediate-level engineers and quantity surveyors are experiencing the most significant rises, while entry-level salaries are also slightly increasing for these positions. Senior-level engineers can now earn salaries of up to €50,000, meanwhile senior quantity surveyors with comparable experience can earn up to €60,000 per year.

Many companies are now being forced to reassess

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Wednesday, 25th May 2016

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What is a robo-advisor?

The term ‘robo-adviser' was coined by Richard J. Koreto as the title for an article he wrote for Financial Planning Magazine in 2002. In recent years it has been widely adopted as the standard term to describe financial advice processes that are:

- Automated, with little or no human interventions

- Delivered online

- Self-service

- Use algorithms to match portfolios to clients, based on assessed risk tolerance and other factors such as age, etc.

- Confined to relatively simple portfolio construction matters

Robo-advisers are good at producing this process driven investment recommendation and implementation and excel in situations that are simple and where the variables are common enough to be factored into an algorithm.

At this stage, robo-advisers do not generally stray into more complex scenarios involving complicated financial advice such as cash-flow management or retirement income planning.

The variables for

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Letters to the Editor

  • OUR VIEW

    Cautious WelcomeNews that a mobile cath lab for cardiac patients at University Hospital Waterford that has just been announced has been welcomed by many as one of the first steps for a permanent second unit in the South East. The deal was struck between the Minister for Health and Waterford Minister for State John Halligan on Thursday for the mobile cath lab but as of yet no concrete details have been provided for the running of the lab or even when it will be installed. At present there is a backlog of …

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