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Improve your decision-making process




By Michael O’Connor,

I am someone who wants to see all the information before making a decision.

This is a debilitating character flaw in a profession where every decision is based on limited information and unknowable future outcomes.

When I first started investing, I wanted all the answers before placing a trade. I wanted certainty. As a result, I missed out on countless opportunities.

Over the years, I have worked hard to overcome this. One of the first steps was accepting that investing is a game of probability, not certainty.

People say investing is like chess, but in chess, all information is known and there is a right and wrong way forward at any point. It's based on computation.

Investing is more like poker. Both are games of incomplete information. Your success over the long run will come down to your ability to make the best possible decisions based on the available information.

Flaws in our decision-making process

With this in mind, let’s focus on one of the most common flaws in our decision making process – resulting.
This refers to our tendency to use the outcome of a decision to determine whether or not we have made the right choice. But there are a number of issues with this.

Bad decisions have 'good' outcomes all the time. Imagine you're late for work and approaching a crossroads as the traffic light turns red. You decide to run the light. You get through just fine and make it to work on time.
Was that the right decision?
The outcome was favourable, but you risked potential death to shave two minutes off your commute. A questionable decision at best.

Reinforcing bad behaviour

Previously successful outcomes convince you that it is a good decision.
Sticking with the driving analogies. Imagine you decide to drive home after a few drinks. You get home just fine. So you do it again and again. The successful outcomes compound to the point where you convince yourself this is a perfectly safe thing to do. You become more and more reckless until, eventually, disaster strikes.

Just because the probability of a negative outcome (getting caught, crashing) is low doesn't mean the risk/reward payoff makes sense.

We see this in investing all the time. Traders make statistically questionable decisions that work out in their favour. The initial positive results reinforce the risk-taking behaviour until they eventually get blown up.
Bad decisions can play out in your favour for a long time, but eventually, the statistical probability will catch up with you.

The Element of luck

In poker, you can play a hand perfectly and still lose because there's this luck element to it. Most decisions in life work the same way.

Ignoring the impact of luck means we convince ourselves that we made the wrong decisions when in reality, the decision was correct; we were just unlucky, or vice versa.

Imagine you have a trick coin that is heavier on one side, so it comes up 'heads' 90% of the time. If you place a bet with someone and the coin comes up with 'tails', was that a bad bet? No, you were just 'unlucky'. Every decision is based on probability, but the probability won't always work in your favour.

A 90% chance you will win is still a 10% chance you will lose. Losing doesn't automatically make it a bad decision.

Focus on the process

When investing, we need to focus on the decision-making process, not the outcome. You want to select the options with the highest likelihood of a positive result. But even if you do this, you can still lose. Not every investment will be a winner.

But if you keep making well-thought-out decisions based on a process that is true to your criteria, these decisions will compound and work in your favour over time.

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Donie McCarthy to be remembered by Firies GAA with golf classic

On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a […]




On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a golf classic in his name. Donie was a key figure; player, coach, mentor and officer in the club for many years.

Michael Quirke, former team mate and part of the events’ committee, outlined the significance of remembering and acknowledging the legacy that Donie left to his beloved club. “Donie exemplified the concept of a club stalwart, his love of both the game and the development of the club was boundless. His energy towards the development of young players is truly visible today in Firies. Donie got great satisfaction from seeing young players improve, and as they got older and achieve success with Firies. During his successful playing days, he helped lead Firies to secure the O’Sullivan Cup title in 1979 and went onto manage and coach many Firies teams down through the years. Since his untimely passing in November 2022, the club has aspired to acknowledge his legacy.”

Final preparations are being put in place for the classic which takes place on Saturday, July 13, in Maine Valley Members Golf Club, Killorglin. The classic, which includes GUI handicap applied with a maximum adjusted handicap of 24 for men and 36 for ladies, promises to be a great day celebrating Donie, with top team, nearest the pin, and longest drive prizes.

Family, friends and former club mates of Donie gathered to officially launch the golf classic in Pairc Eamonn, along with Kerry Senior Footballer; Dara Moynihan to lend his support the event. The Firies GAA Club were eager to recognise L. & M. Construction, of New York City for their generous contribution towards The Donie McCarthy Memorial Golf Classic. The American company, has strong club connections and supports many of the club events. “Without this support, we would be unable to organise such events. The Club would also like to acknowledge the members who attended the launch today from young to old to recognise Donies’ contribution”. A club spokesperson said this week.

If you or your club are interested in submitting a team of four at €200 per team, you can contact Brendan Quirke 087-9172854, Dermot O’Connor 087-6958610, Michael Quirke 087-6683699 or Maine Valley Members Golf Club 066-9761979. Likewise, sponsored tee boxes are available for €50.

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Muckross Lottery goes online

Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery. The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro […]




Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery.

The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro for the benefit of local community groups and bodies including Loughquittane National School, Muckross ICA and Muckross Rowing Club among others.

Over the years, countless prize winners have also benefited in the share of jackpot and Match 3 prize wins.

The first Muckross Lottery draw was held in the summer of 1995, a year which also saw the opening of the Muckross Community Centre.
At the time, the lottery draw was a first of its kind in Killarney and was to set a fine example for the many other sports club and community lotteries that were later established in the town.

The community fundraiser has continued to be a vital support, initially securing the completion of the Muckross Community Centre and over time generating funds for the development of school, community and sporting facilities in the Muckross area.

Since 1995, the lottery has been sustained by the unwavering commitment of local sellers and a dedicated committee within the community association.

A number of the lottery’s founding members continue to sell weekly tickets to this day in support of local causes.

In a move with the times and ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Muckross Lottery, the association is now building for the future and launching its new online lottery facility.

Ahead of the online launch this month, the Association has collaborated with Irish company ClubForce, a leading provider of online lottery systems, to develop the secure online system.

It is hoped the new online facility will generate new lottery sales, extend the lottery’s reach to those living abroad and sustain the community fundraiser long into the future.

Existing lottery supporters who avail of the online option can also enjoy the benefits of new features including a weekly results email, ticket auto renewal and access to ticket purchase history. The Association are also keen to highlight that existing hard copy tickets will continue to be available and sold as normal.

The Community Association is seeking the support of all residents of the Muckross area and all those with a connection to the community, to spread the word and get behind the new online lottery.

Online tickets can now be purchased ahead of the weekly draws on June 22, June 29 and throughout July.

The jackpot for June 22 stands at €5,050 with a rollover each week if the jackpot is not won. Online lottery tickets can be purchased each week (3 tickets for €5). A single €2 ticket can also be purchased for multiple draws. The lottery’s annual ‘green’ ticket is also available online for €100 and continues to include two free draws.

Link to Muckross Lottery online.

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