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Informed Decisions Independent Financial Planning & Money Podcast

If you are looking for Independent voice on Investing, Retirement Planning & Financial Planning Podcast in Ireland, you may have just found it! Join me, Paddy Delaney as we talk straight and steer you towards a better financial future. Take control of your financial future and develop successful habits with your money. Join Paddy Delaney on Ireland's award-winning Personal Finance & Financial Planning Podcast & Blog. He aims to cuts through the sometimes confusing jargon of financial products and services, to help you make informed financial decisions, for you........No nonsense, straight up fact, and a little bit of a laugh at the same time! The Podcast is on a mission to enable it's listeners provide themselves with better financial futures, and ultimately to make a positive difference in the lives of listeners. Thanks so much for checking out the show! You can get in touch by email: admin@informeddecisions.ie Paddy Delaney Qualified Financial Advisor Qualified Retirement Planning Advisor Qualified General Insurance Practitioner Qualified Executive Coach
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Now displaying: 2018
Dec 16, 2018

Welcome back to Ireland's award-winning & independent Financial Planning blog and podcast. We are on a mission to share ideas and educate people to avoid mistakes and make decisions that will benefit them in the future. Drop me an email here with any of your ideas or feedback on making the site/podcast better, would love to hear from you.

For a while now I have been really keen to get a 'non-advisor' to tell us what has changed in recent years in the UK in the financial advice arena, and how that has impacted consumers like you and I. The reason I have been keen to get speaking to a non-advisor is because advisors can have tainted views of things particularly when it comes to regulatory change etc, understandably they don't always like it!

Rory Percival is the person for the job here, as a former FCA regulator and now running a Consultancy and speaking business that helps advice firms to stay abreast of regulatory change, there aren't too many others as well placed to share some insight with us.

We have a fairly broad-ranging conversation covering some questions like:

What has changed in recent years in financial services and advice?

What lessons can we learn about transferring defined benefit pension scheme?

How are people protected when it comes to seeking advice and is that advice up to scratch?

Should I transfer out of my defined benefit scheme, and if so what should I look out for?

What are investment platforms and can they be trusted?

Be sure to listen to the end where Rory shares his top tips for people in how to best manage income in retirement, and ensure that they have the best chanve of maintaining lifestyle in retirement.

Have a hugely Merry Christmas and see you in 2019!

Paddy Delaney

QFA RPA APA Coach

Links:

Rory Percival site

Rory's guide to Defined Benefit Pension Transfers (UK)

 

Dec 10, 2018

Welcome back to Ireland's independent & award winning Financial Planning Blog & Podcast. We don't claim to be perfect but we have been creating and sharing ideas here on the podcast for the past 2 years and are on a mission to help people of Ireland (& beyond!) to make decisions which benefit them in the long-run. All we ask is that if you like what we are doing that you'd tell a friend or loved-one about us and see if it can be of any use to them!

Speaking of long-run we are hugely grateful for your ongoing support, readership and listenership, if the few thousand of you who listen every month didn't do so we wouldn't still be producing the show, so thanks for that, we love it! I know I say 'we' but it is really only me, but for some reason it seems right to me! Maybe we will be a we in future! Last week we tackled Entrepreneur Relief, and had some interesting emails from some entrepreneurs who have learned a thing or two as a result, which is cool!

This week I have to vent a little, not for my own good but as a bit of a warning or war-cry for us all. It is pretty disappointing that people still need to be warned about what I am talking about today but it is a fact, and an important one at that. What I am talking about is a charging structure that I witnessed on a retail savings product recently, that was being promoted on a state-funded website by an 'advisor' with national media coverage. It also ties-in with my announcing that I have recently become Ireland's first Ambassador for the Transparency Task-Force. This is a voluntary group/movement based in several countries, with a few hundred members, and a dozen or so ambassadors. As the title suggests they exist in order to encourage more transparency and improved provision of information in financial services industry. I hope to interview the founder Andy Agethangelou in January so we'll have more for you in a few weeks!

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Dec 10, 2018

Welcome back to Ireland's independent & award winning Financial Planning Blog & Podcast. We don't claim to be perfect but we have been creating and sharing ideas here on the podcast for the past 2 years and are on a mission to help people of Ireland (& beyond!) to make decisions which benefit them in the long-run. All we ask is that if you like what we are doing that you'd tell a friend or loved-one about us and see if it can be of any use to them!

Speaking of long-run we are hugely grateful for your ongoing support, readership and listenership, if the few thousand of you who listen every month didn't do so we wouldn't still be producing the show, so thanks for that, we love it! I know I say 'we' but it is really only me, but for some reason it seems right to me! Maybe we will be a we in future! Last week we tackled Entrepreneur Relief, and had some interesting emails from some entrepreneurs who have learned a thing or two as a result, which is cool!

This week I have to vent a little, not for my own good but as a bit of a warning or war-cry for us all. It is pretty disappointing that people still need to be warned about what I am talking about today but it is a fact, and an important one at that. What I am talking about is a charging structure that I witnessed on a retail savings product recently, that was being promoted on a state-funded website by an 'advisor' with national media coverage. It also ties-in with my announcing that I have recently become Ireland's first Ambassador for the Transparency Task-Force. This is a voluntary group/movement based in several countries, with a few hundred members, and a dozen or so ambassadors. As the title suggests they exist in order to encourage more transparency and improved provision of information in financial services industry. I hope to interview the founder Andy Agethangelou in January so we'll have more for you in a few weeks!

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Dec 3, 2018

Welcome back to Ireland's award winning & independent financial planning blog & podcast, where we are on a mission to share ideas and information that hopefully helps you make decisions that delivers long term results for you. Thanks for the lovely reaction to last weeks' episode, I certainly enjoyed sharing the story! This weeks' topic is kinda closely related to the oul' lizard-brain and relates to entrepreneurship!

We are not tax experts but it has been asked of us a few times recently so this week we will share a wee bit of info about how 'entrepreneurs' can stand to benefit from a pretty significant chunk of relief......of the financial sort.

A Short Story:

Maria Dalmation set up a dog grooming company back in 2010, called 'I Shitzu-Not' Limited (I don't think I'll ever make it in advertising!). Anyway, she had a steady start, and then when she won a national dog-grooming title for her grooming skills her business took off. For the 4 years from 2013 to 2017 she had revenues each year in the region of €200,000, business expenses including wages of €100,000 meaning she had profits of €100,000 per year. She did pay corporation tax at 12.5% on the money in the business each year however the company had cash of €550,000 in it's bank account at the end of 2017.

Maria Dalmation had an epiphany in January of this year, she wanted to leave the grooming business, it was time for a new adventure, to pursue her love of discovering and documenting Mongolian Cave Art (please understand I had to make this really random so as to avoid the chances of anyone coming forward to claim I was talking about them!). So she sought to leave it all behind, and sell the business to a colleague that had been working with her for the past few years.

Maria's business at that stage was worth €750,000 (including cash and goodwill), she sells it for €750,000 and pays a measly €75,000 Capital Gains Tax on that sale of her shares in the business. She pocketed, perfectly legitimately and appropriately, €675,000 of the €750,000 sale price. To put that in context had she sold an investment, property or other asset other than a limited company on which she had the same gains she would have paid Capital Gains Tax at 33%, equating to €247,000, meaning she would have pocketed €500,000. A simple thing now called 'Entrepreneur Relief' has reduced her tax liability on disposal of her business by €175,000.

Continued.........

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Coach

Nov 26, 2018

Welcome back to Ireland's award-winning Finance Blog where we are on a mission to share ideas that will have a lasting and positive impact for you. This week were are sharing something a little different, and hope that it hits the mark, that it perhaps gets you thinking and perhaps even encourages you to do something you want to do! It is bigger than personal finance or financial planning, this is about you and your life!

In November each year, for the past 6 years anyway, there has been an 'unconference' called Congregation happening in the small and lovely village of Cong in Mayo. It was created by and organised each year by one man, a guy by the name of Eoin Kennedy, who is a digital communicator, entrepreneur, trainer and all round good guy it seems! Not sure where he got the idea but he gets 80-100 people to Cong every year, from a hugely diverse range of backgrounds to present their thoughts, ideas and debate on various different topics. Unlike a typical conference where you sit and listen to a speaker Congregation revolved around the principal that everyone in attendance presents a piece during the day, and then the groups have an opportunity to discuss what was just said, share their views and get lots of different input from lots of different people. I always find it hard to explain it, indeed I was total at a loss when it was first explained to me by Alan O'Rourke from Bettystown who is a speaker, lecturer, marketer & writer.

Anyway, unlike a typical conference you can't buy a ticket, you can only gain entry by submitting your thoughts on the given topic each year. This year it was 'ideas' so in order to get a spot you had to write, record, create a short piece about 'ideas', and then prepare to pitch that to the group on the day. Sounds daunting to some but this is the most familial, non-threatening and open gathering of interesting and smart people I have had the pleasure of attending in my 38 years! It is an eclectic mix of all-sorts; writers, CEO's, farmers, coaches, teachers, entrepreneurs, educators, inventors, makers, doers and dreamers, and all in it to share ideas and hear from other interested folks, where would you get it!

Thanks For Listening,

Paddy Delaney

QFA |RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Nov 19, 2018

It was in conversation with a friend recently, who has just started working for a new company, that I was asked if I believed it makes any sense to join a pension scheme offered by an employer. He was told that if he put 4% of gross salary into his pension that the employer would put 6% in, totaling 10% of his gross salary. This seems like a reasonable offer from the employer in this Defined Contribution scheme however he had concerns which he shared with me!

Having done a little of his own research he had concerns about the fees that he had read of, concerns about the fact that 'you could get back less than you invest', and the mystery about how one goes about taking the money out at the end. These 3 very real and very common questions and concerns lead to, I guess, many people not engaging with pension, and without answers to those questions I wouldn't blame them for a second!

Welcome to Ireland's double-award-winning Finance Blog and Podcast where we are on a mission to help readers and listeners make decisions which benefit them now and into the future. We thank you for reading and the greatest compliment you can pay us is to tell a friend about us, or drop me a mail here with any ideas or suggestions that would make this site as useful as possible.

In trying to answer the question 'should I join my company's pension scheme or not' it might be worth taking each of the 3 questions, not with a view to finding an answer in the affirmative but a considered and credible answer!

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Executive Coach

Nov 12, 2018

BlackRock Investment Managers conduct an annual piece of research (in the US) of around 30,000 individuals and get their sentiment and preparation for retirement. Obviously it is heavily slanted to the financial. One of the surprising things, for me at least, was that the #1 concern for the majority of respondents was not health or social interactions or purpose, it was 'running out of money'.

I guess running out of money in retirement does bring up all sorts of miserable and unfortunate images in our minds, and that is probably enough of a motivation for us to want to do something about it! Sequence risk is something that can result in us running out of money, and which we covered in a little detail last week, and this week we aim to share some ideas in how to minimise the impact of that very occurrence.

Welcome back to Ireland's double-award winning Blog & Podcast. On a mission to share ideas which will help you both now and into the future. The biggest compliment you can pay us is to tell a friend about us and/or drop me an email here with any ideas, suggestions or feedback.

Thanks,

Paddy Delaney 

QFA | RPA | APA | Executive Coach

Nov 3, 2018

We are not talking about death here today, but we will be looking at a thing called Sequence Risk which in my book is one of the most unknown and under-rated influences on your income in retirement. I would go so far as to say that it can have much more of an influence on your retirement lifestyle than the amount that you actually have at the beginning of your graduation out of full-time employment.

Plain and simple this is one of the biggest factors affecting people's incomes in retirement. Essentially this is the very real risk of the order of investment returns you achieve being unfavourable. We will show you how big an impact this has on a portfolio, why you should know about it and begin to explain the very real impact it can have on the legacy that you leave your loved-ones.

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicated and straight-talking personal finance and financial planning Blog. We are on a long term mission to share ideas and raise awareness about topics that impact us all and which will hopefully be a positive benefit for you into the future. Please drop me a mail here with any ideas, suggestions or feedback which would help make this resource as useful as possible.

Thanks for listening,

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Oct 29, 2018

Welcome to Ireland’s only dedicated and straight-talking Personal Finance & Financial Planning Podcast. Delighted you have decided to have a look at this weeks’ episode. Firstly, want to say a heart-felt thank you to all listeners of the Podcast and readers of the Blog for their encouragement and feedback over the past 2 years, we picked up the title of ‘Ireland’s Best Finance Blog’ at the Irish Blog Awards last week in Dublin, totally surprised to win it for the 2nd year in a row, particularly against such top-drawer blogs as the Zurich, Bank Of Ireland, Taxback.com to name just a few. I’m a big believer is not focusing on the past too much, whether it is a high or a low, o lets get stuck in to this weeks’ episode!

We are joined in conversation by Derek Bell, the Chief Exec of the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland, which is based in Dublin. While it might sound a little like just another pensions company they are actually anything but. They provide, what to me sounds like, an invaluable service to people who are on the verge of retiring from their jobs here in Ireland. They run courses which help people to consider all they need to consider in advance of ‘graduating’ from their full-time permanent positions…….and to head off into the sun-set.

Derek shares with us in this 30 minute or so Podcast what he believes are some of the main aspects which people often overlook when considering retirement, and the funny thing a lot of those aren’t the financial, which makes it all the more interesting to hear and consider.

And be sure to listen through to the end where Derek shares the single biggest piece of advice he believes will impact on anyone who is preparing to retire, be that 40 years or 40 days away…….enjoy!!

Oh, be sure to drop me a mail here with your ideas, suggestions or feedback on how to make the Podcast/Blog as effective and useful as it can be, please!

Cheers,

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Coach

Oct 22, 2018

'I'm not a procrastinator, I just prefer doing everything in a dead-line induced panic!'......Honest words shared with me by an acquaintance recently. And to be fair it totally struck a chord with me, as a former repeat procrastinator it sounded so accurate a description of the logic a procrastinator uses to rationalise their behaviour (or lack thereof). It is only when the pressure is on, the procrastinator will them him or herself, that I am at my best....so there really is no point in that particular item until such time as it is time-sensitive or urgent! We did touch on the subject previously and shared a story about a granny and €8k! We are not now here to criticise or condemn that approach, rather to try and understand why it is a default for so many of us in lots of aspects of our lives, and not just financial planning & money aspects.

Welcome back to Ireland's only dedicated Financial Planning Blog & Podcast, we're on a mission to share ideas and help you make decisions about your money that will benefit you now and into the future. We love to hear from readers and listeners to the podcast, and invite you to drop us an email here with suggestions, ideas or feedback.......thanks!

It is said that the avoidance of a task, postponing until tomorrow what can (and often should) be done today, is one of the main obstacles to us achieving success in our professional and personal lives. Think about that, how many times has an idea, a picture of a desired outcome, a goal or a wish entered your head, and for you to talk yourself out of it, for whatever reason? This is procrastination at work, and it nigh-on constantly prevents many of us from doing stuff that we want to do!

Read Full Blog Here.

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Oct 15, 2018

In 2016 The Natural Environment Research Council in the UK invited the public to name their latest scientific research vessel, which was costing £200m. This vessel was going to be doing (and currently is doing) really insightful and exploratory work, making new discoveries and so on. Really important, noble and global research for the good of the natural world. In the initial stages the likely suggested winner was names such as 'Endeavour' and 'Poseidon' etc. Which made sense. However  you can imagine the consternation internally when the public unanimously got behind a viral idea of calling it something rather ridiculous, yet pretty hilarious at the same time. And so it was that the winning vote, by some margin, was ‘HSS Boaty McBoat-Face’!

In the past week we saw the 2019 Budget being released, and depending on your level of interest you may have either read every single iota of info in it, listened-out for any major bits that will impact you, or paid no heed to it at all. Each to their own. For me at least, The Budget is one of these things that happens every year (as far as I'm aware) and which the media latch onto and utilise to create a good week's worth of material and supplements and 'special reports' etc. But for many of us, The Budget is something that largely happens in the background, and has little impact on our overall financial lives or indeed financial planning. For many the drama of the Finance Minister somberly walking onto the steps of the Dail with his or her brief-case looking all serious is all a bit much, it is over-dramatising a budgetary process that any prudent government in any nation attempts to do in a way that ensures it’s financial stability. Between the media and the incumbent government they try and whip us up into a state of frenzy about the Budget…..perhaps so that we’ll notice them and think more of them, I’m not clear on the motive to be honest, as it seems they use the same of hype whether it is a give-away’ or a ‘tightening’ Budget!

I’m not suggesting we change the name from ‘The Budget’ to Budgety McBudget-Face’ but I am inviting us to look at it in less of a reactive ‘Oh-my-God-look-at-what-they-are-doing-to-us’ sort of way, and in more of a pragmatic and proactive manner. So this week we are going to share a bit of a budget update, and invite you to observe how significant (or otherwise) it might be to you individually, particularly if you are in the process of either building and maintaining your wealth over the long term.

The Update Bit:

The budget didn’t carry too many shockers in fairness, while it was being reported as an ‘election-friendly’ budget you’ll see from our highlight reel here that there was nothing overly generous or prohibitive in it. Here’s our ‘Super 7’ list of Budget Updates:

  • Standard rate income tax band increased by €750 from 2019 onwards
  • Self Employed & Directors increased by €200 to €1,350 from 2019
  • Some tweaks to the lower USC bands and rates
  • DIRT tax reduced to 35% - Exit Tax remains unchanged at 41%
  • €5 increase to State Pensions per week, from March 2019
  • Capital Acquisitions Tax (Class A) increased by €10,000
  • Mortgage Interest relief against rental income increases to 100% from 2019

Read on here.

Paddy Delaney QF| RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

 

Oct 8, 2018

If you have ever invested money in a fund or collective fund with a 3rd party, either through a pension or through an investment structure (product or platform) you will most likely have already completed a 'Risk Questionnaire' or 'Risk Survey'. It may have formed part of the bigger conversation about your investment goals, or it may have been the sole basis on which you made your investment decision. If it was the latter than there may be cause for some concern.

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicated and straight-talking Personal Finance Blog & Podcast, and thanks for reading! If you want to gain some insights about money, hear from some super guests and to help yourself to make financial decisions which benefit you, then you are in the right place! We are always keen to hear from readers so please do send me a mail with any ideas, suggestions or feedback, you can mail me here.

The Conflict:

If an individual seeks financial guidance they generally do so in good faith that the person they seek it from will have their best interests at heart. In a recent interview with Eric Brotman we explored what the term Fiduciary meant, and it means. In essence it relates to the relationship between a financial advisor and a client as being one established on trust, and where the advisor is bound by a responsibility to act in the best interests of a client. That is to say that they place the client's interests before their own......which for many people in Ireland will seem like a strange idea.

When we seek any help, whether it is to buy a car, have some domestic appliance fixed, book a holiday, visit a physio, hire a painter, as a nation we expect that the person(s) providing the product or service to be acting in their best interests and will perhaps try to sell us or charge us more than may perhaps be strictly necessary.....it is a cultural thing, perhaps in every corner of the globe.

To suggest then that a 'financial advisor' would not act in their own best interests, to act in a fiduciary manner, seems almost alien, and totally counter-intuitive! Yet this is a formal means of working for a small yet growing population of financial services professionals in the US. I, for one, am looking forward to the growth of such a population in Ireland....perhaps it starts right here.

Need Versus Wants:

You are perhaps wondering what any of this has to do with Risk Questionnaires, thanks for bearing with me. Lets image a scenario where you are a 60 year old with €250,000 sitting in deposit accounts but who now needs to generate an income of €15,000 per year (6% of fund) from your investment in order to pay for the lifestyle you maintain. In addition you want to have that income increase in line with inflation each year, your circumstances demand it.........Listen to hear more!

Or check out our Blog here.

Thanks,

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Oct 1, 2018

Are you swimming in the nip dear reader?

This week we share some ideas with you about a what the State Pension looks like currently, how much we might get, how we go about qualifying for it, and how the level of income we have from 'guaranteed sources' when we do retire determines how we can access other retirement funds we have set for ourselves.......so a nice simple one!!

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicated and straight-talking Financial Planning and Personal Finance Blog & Podcast. We are on a mission to share insights and to help people to help themselves. In return if you feel it is of value to you then please do tell a friend! We'd love to hear from you with any feedback, suggestions or questions, drop me a mail here.

This week we help answer the following questions.....

How Much Is The State Contributory Pension Right Now (at time of writing!)

What Age Can I Get The State Pension?

How Do I Qualify For Contributory State Pension?

How Much PRSI Need I Pay To Qualify?

Why It's Not Enough?

Hope you enjoy...

Thanks for listening!

  

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

 

Sep 24, 2018

This week we are finally getting round to a topic that has been on 'the list' for quite a while. One of the main benefits of pensions that 'the industry' of financial services harks on about a lot is the tax relief that is available on contributions, and that is certainly true. Having said that what is not true is that pensions are the only tax effective vehicle in which to invest in this fine country of ours, there is also (among a handful of others) the Employment and Investment Incentive Scheme as declared by the Revenue. This is the artist formerly known as Business Expansion Scheme (BES)!

We will now share the ins-and-outs of this scheme, the pros & cons and hopefully a few examples which will show how an investor (with a lump sum) might aim to reduce his or her income tax bill by investing in such a thing. Like night becomes day the rules around this Scheme can change in future but they are a reflection of things as they stand today!

As is customary I would like to welcome you to Ireland's only dedicated and straight-talking Financial Planning blog & podcast! We are on a mission to change how financial advice is done in Ireland and to help people help themselves to make decisions which will benefit them in the future. Love to hear from readers and listeners so drop me a mail here with any ideas, suggestions or questions you have and I'll be sure to reply post-haste!

Oh, regular readers might recall that we won Best Finance Blog in Ireland last year, we are short-listed again this year and the awards are on 25th October......it might be a case of 'difficult 2nd album' but sure we'll see how we go......It's not about winning it's about taking part and all that!

Sep 16, 2018

Charles Dickens' novel about Dr. Manette, his 18 year incarceration in Paris and subsequent relocation to London to spend time with his daughter Lucie, and all the messing that apparently ensued is meant to be quite a read. I haven't managed it myself but am reliably informed that I should. Some day I will, as soon as I have read every investment and retirement planning book in existence! A Tale of 2 Cities was set against the back-drop of the run-up to the French Revolution and one could potentially say that there may be a revolution ahead in terms of investing in Ireland, there is a groundswell building around the inconsistencies in how investments are taxed and the access to various investment options. This week we explore the tax implications of investing in 2 different vehicles in Ireland, what tax an investor will pay, and the net impact that that means over the term of an investment. It's an investment tale of 2 cities as such......I know, a very tenuous link indeed!

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicated Financial Planning Blog & Podcast, on a mission to make a positive difference in how people like you & I manage their finances and make decisions. Your input and feedback are of real importance to us so would be delighted if you were to drop us a mail with any such ideas or feedback you have here.

Thanks,

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Sep 10, 2018

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicated and straight-talking Personal Finance & Financial Planning Blog. We are on a mission to make a positive difference and to help people take control of their finances in a meaningful way. If you have a suggestion, question or feedback for us please do drop me a mail here, love to hear from readers. 

This week we are joined in conversation with Eric Brotman from US-advisory form Brotman Financial. Eric shares with us many ideas and helps answer many questions including:

How best to prepare for 'graduating into retirement'?

What is Fiduciary Advice and how does it differ to other types of financial advice?

Should I invest a lump sum or clear my Mortgage?

He also tells us a little about the challenges faced in the US with the infamous 'student loans' situation, which if nothing else might make you feel a little better about your own situation!

Thanks for checking it out......

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

 

 

Sep 3, 2018

This week we are hoping to answer several questions we have had from listeners in the past 6 weeks or so. It has been put to me that it would be valuable to share our thoughts and to explore whether it would be more beneficial to invest in a low-cost investment plan, achieve a decent level of return and pay whatever tax is due on withdrawal, or to invest into a pension, achieve the same level of return, pay what tax is due on withdrawal.......on the face of it, to me at least, it seems there will be no competition, but you know what they say about assumptions (My favourite quote about assumptions is...... 'Don't Make Assumptions'!)

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicated and straight-talking Personal Finance & Financial Planning Blog. We are on a mission to make a positive difference and to help people take control of their finances in a meaningful way. If you have a suggestion, question or feedback for us please do drop me a mail here, love to hear from readers. Oh, and one more thing, we are trying to make a difference, so if you feel anything you hear or read on this site might be useful to a friend please do send them a link......they might even thank you for it!

Invest or Pension......?

To be frank when I sat to do this analysis I wasn't sure where to start, I may have resembled the confused looking dog on the cover for a while initially! It is not a question that I have ever really been asked before in detail, so it took quite a lot of thought! The essence of the questions that I have received from listeners is, factoring-in the potential returns, fees and taxation of the 2 options, which one will yield greatest net return, an investment in a low-cost fund (if such a thing actually really exists!) or a pension in a regular managed fund!? We are making one BIG assumption here, and that is that in the investment you are paying low fees and in the pension you are paying high fees. I say this is an assumption because this is not always the case of course.....but it was the question posed so let's take it head-on!

Paddy Delaney

Aug 27, 2018

This week we are taking a closer look at the fabled '4% Rule' relating to drawing-down on investment or retirement pots. This particular 'rule' gets plenty of airtime in the US, UK and many other countries but from my own experience very few investors, pension holders here in Ireland seem to have heard of (and indeed even many advisors!). Let's try fix that! We are not going to challenge this 4% Rule today, merely we'll determine what it is, how it is relevant and how to go about figuring out what it might suggest for you.

Welcome back to Ireland's only dedicated and straight-talking personal finance blog/podcast. We are on a mission to tell the truth about money and are so thoroughly enjoying the journey! It is always great to hear from listeners so if you have any suggestions or ideas for us to explore please do send me an email here. As an aside, this week I got to meet a bit of a hero of mine. I travelled over to Penzance in Cornwall and spent a good few hours trying to learn as much as I could from the one and only Pete Matthew who has been creating really engaging personal finance information via video, blogs and podcasts for 5 years now. Such a pro, it was great to meet him. Check out the magic here!

Thanks,

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Aug 16, 2018

We have recently been asked to share ideas on how an individual (or couple) can ensure their investments/estate/assets are properly distributed and managed once they die. It is an area that is of real value and interest to both the people who may be 'receiving' and indeed obviously to the people that are 'giving' it!

While Trusts are an area that we have touched-on in previous episodes we would not claim to be legal experts on the matter. For that reason we have invited Pauric Druhan, a qualified solicitor and trust expert from Pearse Trust, to join us on the Podcast.

Pauric shares his experience and knowledge on the different types of Trusts but more practically he shares examples of how they can be used and in what circumstances they can be of benefit to people who want to manage the 'distribution' of their estate before and indeed after they die. It is a key part of Estate Planning in Ireland and in reality it is something that most in this space would benefit from being more aware of.

Have you ever asked; What Are Trusts? Do I Need A Trust? How Do Trusts Work? If so, you might find some useful ideas in this episode of Ireland's award-winning Blog & Podcast.

As you will by now be well aware we are on a mission here at Informed Decisions to help our listeners and readers to make effective decisions for themselves which will result in better financial outcomes, and this episode is no different! Please do drop me a mail with your suggestions, questions or feedback.

You're a Legend!

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Aug 13, 2018

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicated Financial Planning & Investing Podcast & Blog. We are on a mission to do things differently and to actually help people make decisions that help them achieve the results (& life!) that they want to achieve.

This week we have a rather special guest, Mr. Guy Spier. Guy is the fonder of, and has been been the sole decision-makers of the Aquamarine Investment Fund for 2 decades. This is nothing outlandish however the fund has an impressive return rate for investors over that period of time.

He has recently launched a superbly insightful and honest book called 'The Education Of A Value Investor', aspects of which we discuss in some detail.

We are thrilled to chat with Guy and gain his insight on many aspects of both money and life. He tells us about his approach to work, investing, life and how the likes of Warren Buffett and Monish Pabrai have shaped him.

Be sure to drop us a mail if you have any ideas, suggestions or questions following this episode. You can mail me directly here.

Enjoy!

References:

The Education Of A Value Investor

Warren Buffett

Monish Pabrai

Guy's Aquamarine Fund

Guy's Twitter

Nassim Taleb

 

Aug 6, 2018

In a meeting last week I was asked why my philosophy toward successful long term investing was so simplistic and boring. I was delighted! For context the people I was working with had understood me to have been in the financial planning profession for 13 years (correct) and that I was a 'finance expert' (marginally correct!). Based on these two bits of information they had concluded that I would have a very complex, very elaborate, and dare I say it, very confusing approach when it comes to investing. This is what most of us have been conditioned to believe. That is most likely as a result of the unnecessarily complex products and layers that are rife in the Financial Services Industry.

When I explained my (very non-complex) belief on how one can achieve long term success they essentially scoffed at it, as if disappointed that I had not unleased a bout of verbal financial terminology and nonsense on them! It really got me thinking, it challenged me, and for that I am so grateful. As a result of that interaction this week I am sharing a short (true) story about long term results when one investor took a complex approach and when another took a very very simplistic and boring approach....and let you decide which might work best!

Welcome back to Ireland's only dedicated and non-smoke&mirrors Blog and Podcast on a mission to help people make better decisions and ultimately to live the life that they want to live. All we ask in return is that you tell a friend and if you are feeling really enthused that you drop me a mail to say Hi, offer feedback that could help us improve this site, or indeed ask a question!

Jul 30, 2018

As a young boy growing up many years ago a million euros (or pounds as it was!)  always sounded like an inexorably large amount of money. If you had €1m you were officially a millionaire and were in our eyes elevated to a stratospheric status.......The same can't be said anymore though! While it no doubt is still a significant amount of money by anyone's standards the sheen of being a millionaire has dampened thanks to inflation mostly! Nevertheless we are are today going to explore how and if €1m in an Irish Pension is enough, and specifically explore if it would be enough on which to retire at say 60 years of age.

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicate Financial Planning where we are on a mission to help you get the financial outcomes you want and to avoid mistakes when it comes to planning, investing and decisions with your money. If you find the information that we create of use then all we ask is that you help us spread the word and tell a friend! All our blogs can be found here. If you have a question or indeed a suggestion on how we can make this site more useful to you I'd be delighted to hear from you, please do send me a mail here.

Impact Of Inflation On Your €1m:

In order to elaborate on the comments about impact of inflation on your €1m lets just look at that for a moment. It was 25 years ago when I was 13 years of age. When I was 13 years of age €1m seemed like a crazy amount of money. Indeed it was, and still is however if you had €1m 25 years ago (1993) and you put it under the mattress, it would today have approximately 40% less purchasing power, due solely to inflation.

According to data from Central Statistics Office you would need to have €1.61m today to be able to buy what €1m would have bought in July 1993! The price of goods and services here have increased by over 60% in those 25 years. If on the other hand you had invested that €1m in the S&P 500 Index in 1993 it would now be worth approx €12m!

Bottom line is that if you decide to invest your funds under the mattress you will lose every time! If you want to retain and indeed potentially grow your funds above inflation you may need to consider this. If you are a long-time listener you will know our views on that whole topic very well by now however!

Let's look at how you would be set if you retired right now with €1m, as a couple at 60 years of age......

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Jul 23, 2018

Welcome to Ireland's only dedicated Financial Planning & Personal Finance Blog & Podcast. Last year we won the award of 'Ireland's Best Finance Blog'......we have re-entered that same competition again this year, and will hear how we get on over the coming couple of months.....this might just be akin to the 'difficult second album'!! As we approach our 100th Podcast we have really tried to focus on the areas that our readers and listeners get in touch with us about and who come to us for help on an individual basis.....we are on a mission to help people to achieve what is important to them, and stay authentic and true to our values in the process. If you have any questions or have suggestions on how we can make this site the best possible resource it can be please do drop me a mail directly here.

Speaking of Financial Planning there is one short story which, for me, sums up exactly what Financial Planning is all about, and the part it plays (or not!) in people's lives. I first read it about 3 years ago and have often thought about sharing it here, but perhaps felt it wasn't 'financy' enough. That view changed when I was working with a really motivated and hard-working person recently, who was really consumed and motivated by growing her business (which she loved in fairness!) and making sure she made the most of the financial situation she finds herself in. I shared this story with her, and it really resonated with her. I am not going to pretend that it changed her life dramatically over-night but she did say that it gave her a little perspective on what is real importance to her both now and into the future....I hope you enjoy it!

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Jul 16, 2018

Welcome back to Ireland's award winning Finance Blog & Podcast. Delighted you have joined us! Our mission is to help people avoid mistakes and help themselves to live successful financial lives. Our big aim is to ultimately change how financial advice is done here in Ireland, to put the focus back on what you want to achieve, not the products that only really serve as the tools to enable you to do it!

This week we are exploring a much-covered topic. It has not been much-covered by us but if you google 'Director's Pensions Ireland' you will see 3.9million results, and every single one of them is trying to flog you one! However we are not talking about the pensions themselves here today, we are talking about the much more important aspect of all of this and focusing on the 'planning' aspect, the bit is (or at least should be) central and should come before the 'product' (pension!). We will compare the stories of 2 fictitious brothers, who have very different approaches to life, and who go about planning in 2 very different ways...............full blog here.

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

Jul 8, 2018

There was a large scale research study done by Gallup Consulting Group (a hugely credible global research company) this year which shows that the majority of people under 35 years of age do not own any form of shares/equities through investments, pensions or savings. This is in comparison to 2007 when the majority of people under 35 did own some for of equities. The research also demonstrated that the majority of people over 35 years of age held them in 2007 and that today the majority of people over 35 still hold them! It got me thinking!

I remember vividly cycling my bike on my way from school when I was about 7 years of age and living in Skerries (yes I originally hale from 'enemy territory!). I was cycling along a quiet street and was passing a row of parked cars on my left. I was probably imagining I was Sean Kelly in the Tour De France and so getting a buzz from cycling past the cars a little too close, and mistakenly clipped one of the rear view mirrors of what I think was a Renault 11! Now i barely clipped it on my little peddler, i didn't even move it or damage it in any way. However that didn't stop what I can only assume was the owner of the car, who happened to be standing on the path beside the car, from letting an almighty roar at me, followed by some sort of fist-waving expression and a brief chase. It all seemed a huge over-reaction and a deliberate attempt to scare a young boy on his bike!

Needless to say the harmless young Paddy was terrified and with increased motivation cycled home at a truly speedy pace! Not sure why this was so ingrained in my memory however I do know that for the remainder of that school year I avoided that street altogether for fear of encountering the 'Reno Man' again! I ended up cycling a very long way to and from school and cost myself lot of unnecessary time and concern. That was the first time I experienced being bitten, and then being twice shy about repeating the experience. However I happened to pass the 'scene of the crime' as a teenager and it reminded of that day, but to say the least there was zero fear about encountering the 'Reno Man' again, if anything I was keen to see him so I could tell him what I should have told him that day! On reflection it was OK to feel the fear but it was foolish to act upon it and to then pay the price and the inconvenience for the rest of the year!

You might wonder what this has to do with investing in equities (quite rightly!). My take is that when it comes to pensions, investments, savings and all that boring stuff the truth is that many of us got quiet a fright 10 years ago (seems much more recent than that!) when the Global Financial Crisis hit. Anyone that owned equities/investments/pensions during that period felt the fear, the concern and either made a decision to act upon that fear or to do nothing!

A typical portfolio fund in an investment, personal or Director's Pension with 80% Equities and 20% Bonds fell by 35% from January 2008 to December 2008. A portfolio with 100% equities fell by 40% in the same period. Forgetting about the fact (yes the FACT!) that they both rebounded by 55 and 70% respectively in the following 12 months, this was a genuinely scary time for investors. Many people made the mistake of getting out of Equities during these temporary declines. They panicked. Some may have been forced to, as in they needed to get their hands on the money for some genuine emergency, but the vast majority who sold their equities during the temporary decline did so out of fear and panic.

In order to relive it let's picture a scenario. In 2006 everything is rosy. The Irish economy is booming, the good times are here. Bertie and his merry men are saying that this will last forever, that we're a mighty little country and that we should keep spending and lapping it up! Investments have delivered double-digit growth for past few years (since the tech bubble) and there is no reason to doubt that it will continue. You see your investment or pension pot grow in value from €200,000 to €250,00 over the course of 2005-2006. You are happy, you buy a few more houses, you buy a new car, install a new en-suite, a hot tub Jacuzzi out the back garden. The new decking is looking fabulous and your neighbours are all envious! All is well in the world!!

And then WHACK! The global economy collapses, we lose jobs, Joe Duffy is telling us the world is coming to an end, Lehmans Brothers and a few 'big hitters' (non prudent ones obviously!) go bust. Your property empire starts to crumble. Your decking goes mouldy and your hot-tub doesn't get used anymore because you're too busy worrying about things! Your investment/pension pot falls in value by 40%, from €250,000 to €150,000, and continues to fall. You fear for your life savings. What is going On? What Sort Of A Fund Is This? Will I lose It All? These are questions you ask yourself or indeed ask your broker or advisor. They probably don't have an answer that assures you in any meaningful way.

What happens next defines whether this investor achieves financial success or not. Full Blog at www.informeddecisions.ie

Paddy Delaney

QFA | RPA | APA | Qualified Coach

 

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