Did you ever feel like you are been taken for a fuel?
Two separate news stories, one international and one released by the Irish Government confirm that we are been taken for a ride.
Earlier this week the United Nations revealed that the combined profits of the largest energy companies in the first quarter of this year are close to $100 billion.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres slammed the big oil companies, he called them “immoral” and accused them of “grotesque greed”.
“It is immoral for oil and gas companies to be making record profits from this energy crisis on the backs of the poorest people and communities and at a massive cost to the climate,” he said.
“I urge all governments to tax these excessive profits and use the funds to support the most vulnerable people through these difficult times,”
This is the same week that our own government announced record tax receipts. The state netted €43.5 billion in corporate tax, VAT and income tax for the first seven months of the year.
Of course none of this is reflected in the prices we are all paying for petrol and diesel at the moment and while pump prices are beginning to fall it still costs far too much to fill an average family car.
Fuel prices dictate the price of everything, higher energy prices mean the cost of delivering food to shops and hotels increases dramatically. We all know the average food basket costs more than this time last year and have you tried paying for a hotel room in Ireland this summer?
But never mind they ordinary punter once the big oil companies and the government can boast about record profits.
We will hear every excuse, like the war in Ukraine to post COVID-19 re-adjustment as the cause of increased energy costs.
It seems those who are fuelling – if you pardon the pun – the rise in energy costs are those who are chasing profit and are not in it for the general good of the people.
Housing Will Never Be The Same
Last week I wrote about the pathetic investment options out there for Irish investors. Despite high ongoing fees (mortgage, maintenance, insurance etc.) and the actual headache of being a landlord, […]
Last week I wrote about the pathetic investment options out there for Irish investors.
Despite high ongoing fees (mortgage, maintenance, insurance etc.) and the actual headache of being a landlord, it’s easy to see why real estate functioned as the de facto investment portfolio for an entire generation.
Wealth creation was a rinse-and-repeat function where couples put money away until they had enough for the ‘next house’. As a result, we have an economy where 70% of household wealth is tied up in real estate.
Driven by the profits it created, Ireland became obsessed with owning real estate.
But real estate as an investment won’t be nearly as successful for our generation. (If you are able to get a house, that is)
All you have to do is look at the anecdotal evidence all around us to confirm this.
My parents bought the house they currently live in for 30k (pounds) 35 years ago. The house is now worth roughly 450k.
I typically despise these back-of-the-envelope calculations when It comes to property, given the endless variables and ongoing costs involved, but bear with me.
That’s a gross return of 15 times the original value. Now there are upgrades, a change in currency and other adjustments to consider here, so for argument’s sake, let’s call it 10X.
To achieve the same level of growth over the next 35 years, you would be left paying 4,500,000 euros for what is a pretty modest house.
Sure, we will still see property prices increase over time, but the rate of growth won’t be anywhere near as meaningful for one simple reason.
Over the last 30 years, real economic growth has been stagnant, yet Ireland has experienced enviable nominal growth.
How did we manage it?
We created imaginary wealth.
We pushed interest rates lower and lower to stimulate economic growth.
And it worked.
After all, if you make 100k/year you can probably afford a 400k mortgage at 4%. At 2%, with the same 100k/year salary you can now take on 600k in debt.
So, were we getting richer, or was the debt just easier to afford?
Where do we go from here?
We have now squeezed interest rates as low as they can go.
The house price appreciation we have seen was justifiable because the mortgage rates on housing continued to fall in recent decades. This allowed people to take on more debt without severely impacting their ability to repay that debt.
If we go back to my parents, they were paying 14% on their mortgage. Mortgage rates are currently between 2 to 3%.
A relentless drop in interest rates gave way to higher and higher prices for houses, but interest rates are now on the floor.
The juice has been squeezed.
In fact, the trend has started to reverse, with rates expected to rise 1.5% in the first half of 2023
Be mindful that the same credit expansion cannot happen again.
How the next generation thinks about their investment options has to change.
Banks offering 0% returns for the use of your money and a housing ladder you can’t get on are not your only two options.
If you need help creating your own investment portfolio, just reach out to me at mike@theislandinvestor or simply scan the QR code above.
Biddies performance celebrates St Brigid
Two local Biddies groups performed at Muckross House as part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations in aid of Kerry Parents and Friends Association. The Killarney Parents and Friends Biddy Group – formerly […]
Two local Biddies groups performed at Muckross House as part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations in aid of Kerry Parents and Friends Association.
The Killarney Parents and Friends Biddy Group – formerly known as the Beaufort Biddy Group – and Kilgobnet Biddies came together for the event.
The tradition of the Biddies is one of the oldest and most colourful customs in Ireland, a blend of pagan and Christian pageantry, held on February 1 each year, heralding the beginning of springtime and honouring St Bríd the patron saint of the farming community.
Master traditional craftsman, Pat Broderick, at Muckross House, was also part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations, making a St Brigid’s Cross as part of the traditions.
Housing Will Never Be The Same
Last week I wrote about the pathetic investment options out there for Irish investors. Despite high ongoing fees (mortgage, maintenance,...
Biddies performance celebrates St Brigid
Two local Biddies groups performed at Muckross House as part of St Brigid’s Day celebrations in aid of Kerry Parents and Friends...
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