During a recent pitch, one of the attendees asked me, “What should I do with my savings right now” which is a reasonable question to ask a guy who spends his days studying financial markets, right?
You would think this would be a simple question to answer, but I have been at this for nearly a decade now, and I still haven’t quite perfected the most frequently asked question. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to investing. How I answer this question will ultimately depend on the individual’s experience, finances, time horizon and risk tolerance.
But of course, starting my answer with “it depends” was likely to be met with uncontrollable eye-rolling and unbridled verbal abuse, so in an attempt to appease the angry mob (my recollection may or may not be somewhat exaggerated for dramatic effect), I neatly condensed what he needed to do into one simple sentence.
Buy great companies and hold them for a long time. That’s it.
In reality, investing can be much more nuanced, but this is essentially the framework that all future investment plans should be built upon – the foundations of sound investing. No complex math, no fancy credentials required, just common sense, optimism, and a lot of patience.
While I wish that I had the ability to conveniently pack the intricacies of investing into just one 10-word quip, the above sentence is rendered useless if you have no idea how to identify great businesses, so let’s dive a little deeper.
Finding great companies can be as simple as opening your eyes. Your fridge. Your wardrobe. Behind virtually every successful product or service lies a publicly-traded company that’s cashing in on that success. Through stock investing, you can join in on that success by purchasing a part of the company.
Many presume that stock picking is based solely on complex future cash flow calculations and ratio analysis. However, qualitative, common-sense metrics are just as, if not more important.
Here are some of the first questions I ask myself when analysing any business.
Will the company exist in 10 years?
This is the first question you should always ask yourself. If you can’t answer this question with some degree of confidence, then it’s time to look elsewhere.
Do I truly understand what the company does?
It’s crucial to invest in companies you understand. If you do not have a solid understanding of how the company makes money, you will never have the conviction needed to hold it during the inevitable market dips.
Does the company have a competitive advantage?
When looking for a good investment, always look for a sustainable competitive advantage, a moat that will prevent competitors from entering the market and stealing market share. This protection can come in many forms, such as a strong brand, a patent advantage, network effects or proprietary IP.
There are hundreds of new startups emerging every day with new technologies that can threaten even the most established companies. Likewise, numerous mega-cap companies are looking to use their existing brand recognition and cash flow to penetrate new markets, take Amazon as an example.
It’s not always enough to have a great business, without an adequate moat, a company is unlikely to survive over the long run.
Is the business part of a growing industry or sector?
What changes will we see globally over the next 20 years, and what companies will be at the forefront of these future megatrends?
Do you believe sustainable energy is the way of the future? Maybe you believe Robotics and Gene therapy trends will continue; autonomous vehicles are a given, and space tourism is on the horizon. Whatever your future view of the world is, you should focus your efforts on exploring companies that are set to profit from the societal shifts you believe in.
You’ll find great investing ideas by reading up on the latest technologies and changing consumer trends but be warned; new technologies often get overhyped in the early stages. A more in-depth valuation analysis will be needed once you have identified these future industry leaders.
If you stumble across a company that ticks all these boxes, odds are, you’re looking at a great candidate for your hard-earned savings.
Green light for teen accommodation
By Michelle Crean Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]
By Michelle Crean
Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.
An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.
The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.
The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.
The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.
The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.
Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.
Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months
By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]
By Sean Moriarty
Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.
Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.
Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.
“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”
She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.
“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”
Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities
An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities.
The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.
Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life.
“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement.
“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk.
An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.
An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/
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