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Wednesday, 9th August 2017

Nominations for the third annual Pakman Awards are due to close just weeks from now on Thursday 31st August. The awards, which celebrate excellence in waste management and recycling, will be held on the 26th October 2017 in the Intercontinental Hotel, Dublin 4 with RTE correspondent Claire Byrne taking the role of Master of Ceremonies. Over 400 guests will attend on the night.

Any Irish business, organisation or community group is eligible to enter and submissions will be judged on excellence in waste management practices from January 2016 to January 2017. Previous winners of Pakman Awards include University College Cork, Aldi, Allied Irish Bank, Raidió Teilifís Éireann, The Sandymount Hotel, Sligo Country Council, Lidl, Meade Potato Company, Recreate Ireland and Rehab Glassco.

Not only will this year’s ceremony mark the third year of the awards, it is also the first year of

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Wednesday, 2nd August 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

We are being heard, but no one is really listening!

There is a very distinct difference between hearing and listening. When you hear something, your ear is quite simply picking up and perceiving a particular sound. If you remember your Physics classes in secondary school, you hear and then your brain interprets those sound waves and vibrations.

Listening on the other hand, is a conscious effort to choose what you want to hear. To do this, you must concentrate on the messages you receive and understand them. Many of our senses are involved in listening and the result is more often than not, an immediate call to action. Whether that be a fight or flight response, or a simple “Yes, I am listening” response, to when Mrs

Garland asks you about housework, when Scotland are playing rugby, on the

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Wednesday, 2nd August 2017

What is ‘Euro Cost Averaging?’

One of the biggest dilemmas investors face is market timing. Jumping in and out of markets on a regular basis not only requires constant monitoring of daily events but also requires the skill to act on such events. Even the best fund managers avoid trying to catch the top or bottom of a market.

The fact is, it’s impossible to time markets perfectly, so it’s best not to try.

Most of us want to invest and achieve the best returns for our future but we don’t want to put our hard earned capital at risk, just at the wrong time. Ideally we would like to improve our chances of entering the market at the right time. One way of doing this is to spread or drip-feed your lump sum into the market as opposed to investing it all

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Wednesday, 2nd August 2017

Help to Buy Scheme beginning to deliver supply in first-time buyer market

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) estimates that the level of new residential completions for 2017 will be in the region of 18,000 units with this figure expected to increase to approximately 20,000 units in 2018. This compares to 12,666 units in 2015, representing an overall increase of 42% from 2015-2017.

CIF Director General Tom Parlon said:

“The ESRI has recently upgraded the desired housing output target from 25,000 per year to 35,000. Commencements last year were around 13,200. This shows the challenge we as a society are facing in terms of housing. This behoves the Government to do everything in its power to help the industry increase supply in a sustainable fashion. The Help to Buy scheme is part of the solution and is having a positive impact on the ability

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Wednesday, 26th July 2017

Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

We've had “Bertie's Bowl” and now “Varadkar's Valhalla!”

I arrived in Ireland, some sixteen years ago, having driven a lorry containing ALL our family's worldly belongings from Larne to Waterford City. It was a mammoth, long, weary journey at the time. There was little or no motorway infrastructure and in truth there were crappy roads everywhere, from the North to the South. Our very small Scottish convoy, which constituted a rented 7.5 tonne truck and my Escort estate car, was stopped just across the border. This, I recall, put the fear of god into me and here's why. In the back of my car, my air rifle was hidden inside my golf bag! I was well aware that an air rifle was illegal in Ireland, so to hide mine, I somehow thought making it look like a

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Wednesday, 26th July 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

Motor vehicle deaths and texting

In Ireland, motor vehicle deaths grew steadily from 302 in 1960 to 628 in 1978. Deaths fell steadily until 2012 with 162 recorded deaths. This was due to laws and penalties relating to drink driving becoming tougher; improvements to our road infrastructure and increased driver training and awareness. The continuous investment in safety features by motor manufacturers also contributed to the fall.

In common with many other Western countries, Ireland has in recent years experienced a tick up in road deaths with 188 people dying in 2016 and 2017 is looking likely to exceed that figure. Experts on road safety worldwide agree that the culprits are motorists' texting while driving. Smartphone use while driving is rampant.

In 2014, AT&T conducted a survey of 1,000 customers in the US about phone use. 98% of respondents said

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Wednesday, 26th July 2017

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has warned that any withdrawal of the Help-To-Buy (HTB) Scheme will further restrict Ireland's housing supply and compound the housing crisis.

CIF Director General Tom Parlon said: “The Help To Buy scheme has been a significant contributor to the growth in residential construction activity. Any suggestion of a withdrawal of this scheme could have a detrimental impact on confidence and the ability of house builders to maintain and increase their residential building programmes.”

“The Help to Buy Scheme has created a viable market for first time buyers and that has meant that banks have begun to lend once again to builders who are building starter homes again,” Tom Parlon said. “The house price inflation that we are seeing, is happening in the vast majority of cases, in the second-hand home market- a market that those availing of

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Wednesday, 26th July 2017

Ireland's housing crisis is getting worse and government targets for dealing with homelessness are not being met. This is causing real suffering, says Una Dunphy of People Before Profit, and is a disaster that could be avoided if the Government stopped relying on the private business sector to provide housing for homeless families.

The homeless are being left in emergency accommodation for a lot longer than expected and the government's main ‘move-on option' is family hubs, which are multi-family hostels for which rent is charged. These, however, look set to become the new poor law institutions of the future.

The government's policy, says Ms Dunphy, of relying on the private market to solve the housing crisis has failed. That same private market gave us the Celtic Tiger bust – so it is hardly surprising that it won't solve the current housing crisis.

People

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Wednesday, 19th July 2017

Who remembers THAT letter?

“What letter?” I hear you cry!

In May last year, I wrote about a certain Neville Chamberlain’s political faux pas, which defined his office as Prime Minister of “Blighty”. On the 30th September 1938, after a meeting with

Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Chamberlain returned to England, via Heston Airport. He exited his “Corporate jet” waving a letter from his now BFF, announcing that there would be, “Peace for our time.”

Chamberlain, in those few brief minutes, was claiming that he had singlehandedly stopped the prospect of Armageddon. He had prevented World War II.

Scroll forward just under twelve months, to the 1st September 1939, which we now recognise as the

“Official start date” of WWII. For all

Chamberlain’s letter waving and pontificating, there was no substance to Chancellor Hitler’s letter. In fact we now know, that the letter was used to stall for time,

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Wednesday, 19th July 2017

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

In investment terms, what is Alpha?

When discussing investment strategy, investment fund managers and analysts talk about alpha and beta.

Beta is defined as the element of investment return or portfolio returns that can be explained by market risk, or by exposure of the investment to the market. This is the return any investor would expect to receive from the market just for being invested.

Most investors seek to get the highest return possible on their investments for the least amount of risk. This extra return above the beta can be measured by alpha. Alpha is understood to be a measurable way to determine whether a manager's skill has added value to a fund on a risk-adjusted basis.

The very existence of alpha is controversial, however, because those who believe in the efficient market hypothesis (which says, among other things, that

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Letters to the Editor

  • OUR VIEW

    Christmas timeBeing part of the huge crowd that was in Waterford city centre for the annual turning on of the Christmas lights was without a question one of the highlights of the year. Seeing so many people, and particularly young people, infants and children, being part of the whole event made the turning on of the lights an even better occasion than you could possibly imagine.Each year the Winterval festival just gets better and better and you really have to hand it to the people behind it whose …

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