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Buy what you believe in

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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.

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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Soccer coach licensed to one of the highest levels in Ireland

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week. Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.The UEFA B Licence is a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week.

Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.
The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. The licence is one level below the UEFA A Licence and allows holders to be head coaches of amateur clubs, youths up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.

Ramona started her training in November 2019 and continued, when restrictions allowed, on several block weekends taking place in FAI Headquarters Dublin, Foto Island in Cork, and final assessments in NUIG in Galway.

“Ramona played a significant role in the course group, supporting the younger coaches and challenging those more experienced, ensuring that the group was dynamic, engaging, interactive and a real positive learning environment,” said the FAI’s Head of Coach Education FAI Niall O’Regan.

“Ramona has been a significant role model for not only female coaches but also males coaches in the Kerry region and has done phenomenal work in her previous club Killarney Celtic and more recently with Mastergeeha. It is so important to have such role models and the motivation Ramona has shown is infectious and many coaches will continue in the same vein.”

For Ramona, this week’s award was the culmination of months of hard work, seminars and study.

“It was really tough at the time, final assessments had been submitted, everything had then switched to Zoom and we were so eager to get it finished. Luckily enough I got to finish off a lot of the course content online and then had individual assessments with my tutor Richie Holland current Cork City Men’s Assistant Manager,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “Then when we returned to outdoor sports in July we got our practical assessments finished with Galway Utd in NUIG.”

ASSESSMENT

The final assessment took place at Mastergeeha FC pitch – the first time ever that a UEFA coaching assessment took place in Kerry.

“I was coaching in Mastergeeha FC in Killarney pre covid and based on logistics and other coaches’ locations in Munster on my UEFA B I was delighted to coordinate a UEFA B assessment with the FAI to be held in the Mastergeeha with the help of the committee,” she added.

“Tom O’Connor FAI Coach Educator and former Interim Republic of Ireland’s Head Coach was really impressed with the setup, the standard of really good footballers and the fantastic committee that ran it so smoothly.”

It was the first time UEFA B assessments were ever held in Kerry and the facilities, committee and the Mastergeeha U16 Boys team were outstanding that day.

She received mentoring and support from some of the biggest names in Irish soccer.

“I was delighted and honoured to receive my UEFA B Diploma Licence,” she said. “Throughout the diploma I’ve had some great tutors, mentors and some great guest speakers from Robbie Keane, Vera Pauw, Stephen Rice and Ruud Dokter FAI High Performance.

“There was a great core group of us on the course from Irish Senior International Players like Katie McCabe, Megan Campbell, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahy and I’ve made some amazing friendships with all the ladies on the course. From the start it was a group of huge experience, drive and determination was something we all had in common and it’s great to see us all complete it together.”

LOCAL HELP

She could not have done it without the help of her home club.

“On a personal note, I just want to thank Mastergeeha FC for all their help and support, with special mention to all the management committee, teams and coaches. Must give a mention to Allan Moynihan, Brendan Buckley, Paul Lenihan and Ulick O’Sullivan also. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Academy training in the next two weeks,” she added.

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