Connect with us


And just like that, everything changed




By Michael O’Connor

I spoke last week about the fragility of the most recent upward trend in markets.

We are in the interlude between inflation peaking and economic data slowing, a momentary sweet spot if you will.

Well, the interlude is over, and the sweet spot is no more, ground to a shuddering halt by a direct and concise message of intent from Fed chair Jerome Powell on Friday.

“While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labour market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses. These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation but a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.”

In short, don’t be surprised to see more market volatility and economic pain as interest rates continue to rise in an effort to cool inflation.

Sometimes pain is for the greater good, apparently.


After clawing back over 50% of their losses, stocks are at a crossroads.

As we move away from inflationary woes toward economic growth concerns, market uncertainty will most likely result in back-and-forth trading with no clear direction in site.

As I mentioned previously, the V-shaped recoveries we have come to know and love over the last 2+ years are far less likely.

The liquidity and support that fuelled previous reversals are now being stripped out of markets. Fundamentals will continue to be reset to account for this.

Expectations will need to be moderate as we enter a period of slower growth.

My Predictions

None of the major asset classes looks overly attractive in this market over the short term.

Stocks and bonds continue to reset, and the point of entry remains unclear given the risks that remain.

With that said, buyers remain on the sidelines and using any pullbacks as a chance to top up on high-quality stocks with strong free cash flow is advised.

Although fundamentals are being reset as future earnings get revised downwards, many of these high-quality names are more profitable than ever and have the capital on hand to buy-up market opportunities where they see fit.

Funding these purchases by reducing your positions in non-profitable growth is also advised.

Many of the pandemic high-flyers will continue to bleed out.

Supply/demand issues should keep oil prices elevated over the medium term but expect considerable volatility. Some high dividend energy companies should provide some attractive yields in the process.

Bonds continue to add to their allure as the equity risk premium gets reduced, but interest rates have yet to reach their ceiling. With that said, the 10-year Treasury at 3.5% seems like a solid entry point to build up long-term exposure.

While I believe that interest rates will be higher for longer, I don’t believe that rates can remain elevated for very long, making treasuries an interesting investment.

The current aggressive Fed policy that brings interest rates to these higher levels will initiate an economic slowdown that is only alleviated by reducing the very rates that caused the slowdown in the first place.

And round and round we go.

For free weekly stock tips and direct access to my personal investment portfolio, go to



Kerry rowing clubs flock to Killarney for the start of the coastal season

There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the […]




There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the Lake’ time-trial for coastal one-design boats.

The event, hosted by the local Flesk Valley Rowing Club, signalled the start of the summer season for clubs rowing the coastal ‘one-design’ boats.

It was fitting that on the weekend that the Killarney National Park celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House to the public, that hundreds of people also flocked to the Flesk Valley shore to appreciate and enjoy the splendour of the park.

Speaking after the event, Flesk Valley chairman, John Fleming thanked all the Kerry clubs who supported this new event and congratulated all the first-time rowers taking to the water in a competitive event for the first time.
“We were delighted to welcome our neighbouring clubs Workmens’ and Fossa, and look forward to renewing rivalries with them again at the Killarney Regatta at the end of this month,” he said.

“We would also like to thank Mary B. Teahan, Andrew Wharton, Johanna King and the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association for all their support and encouragement, and Denis O’Leary for coordinating safety on the water.”
Flesk Valley would also like to thank the Killarney National Park, Leanes Tool Hire, Hegartys Shop and Muckross Rowing Club for their support.

“This was a great start to the coastal rowing season, and augurs well for the months ahead as clubs build towards the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships to be held in Dingle at the end of August,” added the chairman.

Continue Reading


NPWS announces nature scholarships to mark ‘Muckross 60’

Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of […]




Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House and Gardens to the public. The scholarships will be funded and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall O Donnchú said, “Killarney and Muckross have a very special place in Ireland’s heritage legacy, and  such beautiful gems need constant care, nurturing and indeed protecting by future generations. In supporting these third level scholarships, the NPWS is building the knowledge base of the future to assist those generations in continuing to realise the full beauty and nature value of the very unique Muckross House and Gardens and Killarney National Park.”

Mr O Donnchú added: “Killarney has a long history of scholarship, research and frontier work on nature and that continues to this day in the management of Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens. The endowment of these annual scholarships is a very clear attestation that this crucial work continues to be undertaken across our national park system and especially here in Killarney and Muckross. This work has been pioneering in respect of wildlife and nature research and indeed the reintroduction of endangered species and the discovery, even this year, of more.”

Minister for Education and Kerry T.D. Norma Foley also welcomed new scholarships to mark the 60th anniversary of Muckross House.

“Muckross House is one of the jewels in the crown of Kerry tourism and received almost one million visitors last year. These scholarships will further add to our understanding of this outstanding part of our national heritage,” she said.

Muckross House was built by the Herbert family, who were local landlords. They became very wealthy during the 18th century due to the working of the copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula. They commenced the building of the present Muckross House in 1839. It was completed in 1843 at cost of £30,000, just two years prior to the Great Irish Famine. The Herbert family hosted the visit of Queen Victoria to Muckross House in 1861 but later got into financial difficulties and lost the house in 1897.

It was then bought by Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family. He in turn sold it in 1911 to William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy Californian gold miner. Bowers Bourn gave it to his daughter Maud as a wedding gift when she married Arthur Rose Vincent, an Irish barrister who later became a Senator.

After Maude died from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur Rose Vincent decided to donate Muckross house to the Irish nation as a memorial to his wife. Muckross House was transferred to the state in 1932 with its 11,000 acre estate and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1933.

The park and gardens were opened to the public but the house remained closed until 1964 when it was reopened as a folk museum on June 14, 1964 following a campaign by people in Killarney.

Continue Reading