Archive for the Financial Planning Category

The Society of Financial Planners of Ireland – Why It’s Needed!

As a founding member of the Society of Financial Planners of Ireland I am truly delighted to see increased media coverage of our fledgling organisation. This delight extends not from the ego trip that one might think such a name check might get but from the financial media’s recognition that far higher professional standards in the area of personal financial advice are needed in Ireland. Unfortunately the minimum standard that exists in Ireland to give personal

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How To Pick The Right Financial Adviser For You

Irrespective of the professional service that we might look to engage, most people select those who they seek advice from on the basis of a “gut feeling” that the person eventually selected will do a good job. This is no different irrespective of the profession from tradesmen to architects, doctors to engineers and accountants to travel consultants. Such gut feeling is either reflective of someone else’s referral or the fact that there is something about

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Should The Elderly Be Less Conservative Investors?

There is a broad approach among investment advisers that as a client becomes older they should be advised to become less risk orientated in their investments. This is partly driven by the thought of “how would I advise my parents?” and partly driven by fear of the Financial Regulator finding fault with an adviser’s investment process. Since we would always want to care for our own kin, therefore why should we treat elderly non-family any

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How Safe Is Safe?

A question I get asked quite frequently, even in today’s economy, is: ” Is my money safe?” There is no doubt that the level of distrust and incredulity that was directed towards banks after the Celtic Tiger crisis had turned a once sacred cow into a national pariah. And from that, depositors feared for their own account balances like never before. The ongoing, but necessary, rationalisation and merging of the whole banking system has only served to

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The Real Need For A Financial Planner

  When I meet a prospective client one of the first areas to be discussed is what financial products they currently hold. While many people will know that they have a mortgage and its broad details, less will know about what their pension fund and investments are applied to and even fewer again will know what level of life assurance they hold. Most people usually do  not give time to, never mind arrange, either their Will or

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The Case For Managing Financial Clients Rather Than Their Assets

Financial history is peppered with stock market crashes, property market booms and busts and a vast array of stories of individuals who have either made or lost fortunes, or even both. Irrespective of the past, a financial adviser deals with the here and now as well as the future, keeping one eye on clients’ possible expenditure requirements. In doing this, giving the right advice is a subjective process in terms of possible investment portfolio construction

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Learn From History And Plan For Tomorrow.

Some years ago I became involved in using psychometric tools to analyse human behaviour in a financial context. Since then I have been more watchful of both individuals and group dynamics as people go about their daily routines. The skipping of breakfast, grabbing a coffee on the way into work, eating a sandwich at the desk, playing 5 a side football on the way home or the 9 holes of golf on early spring evening. Indeed, we all have our

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Speeding Fines and Investment Risk

As an investment adviser, the starting point for all investment advice is understanding each client’s tendency to take risk as well as their tolerance in accepting possible losses. From an adviser’s perspective the nightmare scenario is a client who tells you that he/she is prepared to take risk in order to possibly get large gains yet is the first to complain when markets go in reverse. As could be seen from the demise of the

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Why It’s Important To Diversify

We all know the phrase of “not putting all of your eggs in the one basket” but when it comes to investing especially if an investor has not experienced poor investment returns in a while (or possibly, even ever) this approach gets consigned to the category of applying to other people only. If it’s the one thing that a lifetime of being invovled in investments has taught me is that poor returns always follow good

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Investors Can Be Crazy

As someone who has been advising investment clients for over 30 years I’m something of an elder lemon, to coin a phrase. Some people may call me experienced but experience is usually borne out of your own suffering or watching others suffer. Looking back on the trends of investing over those 30 years, an experience which started when I was a stockbroker brings the phrase to mind of “the more things change, the more they

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