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Tuesday, 2nd April 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What will removal of the Eligible Liabilities Guarantee Scheme (ELG) mean?

The ELG scheme ended at midnight on 28th March 2013.

The institutions covered by the ELG are:

- AIB - including previous Anglo Irish Bank deposits that were moved to AIB on 1 July 2011

- Bank of Ireland

- EBS Limited (EBS became a subsidiary of AIB on 1 July 2011)

- ICS Building Society

- Irish Life and Permanent - including Irish Nationwide Building Society deposits that were moved to Irish Life and Permanent on 1 July 2011

The ending of the ELG scheme removes a costly distortion in the wider deposit market in Ireland and should improve conditions for the normal flow of credit in the economy.

Depositors will have the same protection as all other depositors across Europe. Their deposits will continue to be guaranteed by the Deposit Guarantee Scheme [DGS]

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Tuesday, 2nd April 2013

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, has announced the publication of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2013. It confirms that certain statutory provisions that were repealed by the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 will continue, as intended by the Oireachtas when that legislation was passed, to apply to mortgages created before the entry into force of that Act, i.e. mortgages created before 1 December 2009. The Bill also contains proposals for new safeguards which will mean that in any repossession proceedings in respect of a borrower's principal private residence or family home, the court may adjourn the proceedings in order to permit the drawing up of a Personal Insolvency Arrangement as an alternative to repossession.

The background to the legislation is a well-known 2011 case (Start Mortgages), in which the High Court found

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Tuesday, 2nd April 2013

Property prices in Waterford have stabilised somewhat with the latest survey from property website MyHome.ie showing that median asking house prices in the country were unchanged in the first three months of 2013. The survey shows that it takes an average of 11 months for a house in the county to proceed to the sale agreed stage.

There is a sharp contrast in the movement of prices between three and four bedroom houses, with the asking price of a three bedroom house down 3.1% in the first quarter at €155,000 while the average asking price of a four bedroom house was 2.8% higher at €185,000.

The rate of decline in property prices nationally has continued to moderate with prices falling by 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013. This compares with a fall of 3% in the previous quarter.

According to the latest

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Wednesday, 27th March 2013

John Smiles

Qualified Financial Advisor

What is Modern Risk Theory?

In 1660, Blaise Pascal did some pioneering work on risk. He was dealing with theology, but the implications for the capital markets are unmistakable. His original concern was the expected value of believing in god. He attempted to convert nebulous uncertainties into calculable probabilities - what we now call risk. His "expected values" are the basis of modern risk theory. Pascal demonstrated that uncertainty is about people, their beliefs and their courage, while calculated risk is based on information, knowledge and credible scenarios.

Together with his colleague, Pierre de Fermat, Pascal came to the conclusion that people are naturally risk averse - the more risk is involved with a particular asset, the greater the return that investors will require as compensation. However, many consumers have a skewed perception of the risk they actually are

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Wednesday, 27th March 2013

In response to queries received, the number of hits to the valuation guidance website, letters issued, calls and returns received, Revenue would like to take this opportunity to reiterate some key points and clarify some misleading commentary.

- The Revenue Estimate of LPT included in the letter issuing to property owners is only relevant where some body does not complete and file the LPT return.

- You don't appeal the Revenue Estimate - you simply displace it by completing the return with your own estimate. This means that you self-assess the value of your property, complete the return, select a payment option and send it to Revenue. There is nothing to appeal.

- Don't ignore the return. If you do, Revenue will pursue collection of the Estimate.

- Useful sources of information to help you arrive at the market value of your property include valuation guidance on

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Wednesday, 20th March 2013

John Smiles - Qualified Financial Advisor

Is Cash still king?

Over the last few years, cash has very much been the choice for Irish investors as other assets have been largely avoided. This risk aversion has been driven by investors' experience during the financial crisis of 2008 and the destruction of wealth in its aftermath.

The ‘flight to cash' was aided by the artificially high deposit rates on offer from the Irish banks just as the focus of investors shifted from capital growth to capital preservation. If an investor could get a ‘guaranteed' rate of return of 5% or more from a deposit, they opted for this and effectively postponed an investment decision.

Another refuge for the risk averse, both here and abroad, has been fixed interest funds. J P Morgan says that approximately US$2 trillion has gone into fixed interest funds over the

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Wednesday, 20th March 2013

Leading property website MyHome.ie has launched a new facility on its website which allows users to calculate the property tax they will have to pay on their home.

The ‘Property Tax Estimator' feature allows users to first of all select a suitable range of recently sold properties and For Sale properties from their area. The Estimator then provides a figure for the tax based on an average value of the homes selected.

Users will be able to filter the most suitable properties for comparison purposes by county and locality as well as by house type.

Angela Keegan, Managing Director of MyHome.ie said the new feature was a straightforward 3 step process which would aid homeowners with the self-assessment process.

"Our ‘Property Tax Estimator' allows users to combine information from the Property Price Register with live data from our list of For Sale properties. It

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Wednesday, 20th March 2013

The President of the SCSI Roland O'Connell said it was important that homeowners used all the information available for comparison purposes and arrived at an accurate valuation within the correct band.

"The property valuation determined now will be used for the next 3 years so it is very important that homeowners, who choose to self-assess the value of their homes, do so diligently and comprehensively to avoid any penalties" O'Connell said.

The SCSI said that homeowners should also be aware of a number of exemptions on property tax, including for first time buyers who are exempt until 2016 if they buy this year. Homeowners should consider the tips below before deciding on a valuation:

1. Determine the market value of the property

Any house, apartment or lodge which is habitable and which could be sold separately will be subject to the tax.

The market value

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Wednesday, 20th March 2013

There's bad news for Ireland's motorists again this month as the cost of both petrol and diesel have continued their recent rise at the pumps. A litre of petrol now costs an average of 162.1 cent, up 2.7 cents in the last month. Diesel also rose, up 1.4 cents per litre to an average of 155.1.

"This is certainly disappointing." Says AA Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. "Fuel prices have been high for so long that we are almost getting used to it. They have nudged down and then up again in recent months but this is at an enormously high level as sky-high Irish taxes are piled on top of rising international prices."

Crude oil prices have been stable and even down slightly in the last month, with Brent crude benchmarked at around $108 on the markets. The Euro vs

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    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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