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My number one rule

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By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com

January tends to bring its fair share of resolutions. Under the blinding influence of Christmas blues, we vow this will be the year we lose weight, the year we drink less, the year we sort out our finances.

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So for those about to undertake a forensic examination of their finances in a bid to uncover the mystery of where your money has been disappearing to all these years, here is my number one rule.

Don't overcomplicate it.

In psychology there is a term known as 'complexity bias'. This refers to our tendency to levitate toward the more complex solution, ultimately over-complicating a simple problem.

Those with the most complex solutions get resounding recognition, while the obvious answers get discarded.

In investing, this is everywhere, millions of strategies, thousands of different investment options, each one more convoluted than the next.

And people eat it up, paying portfolio managers through the nose for the privilege of complexity.

My advice: if you're starting out, embrace simplicity.

Everyone wants the optimal portfolio. They want to know the name of the next stock that's going to 10x in value. They want maximum returns. This pursuit of the perfect trade often results in people investing in nothing at all.

We operate in extremes: everything or nothing. The absence of the illusive perfect investment means we do nothing with our money; sitting on our hands, waiting for a life-changing investment to come up and slap us in the face.

Now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, and this may be stating the obvious, but some people need to hear it. There is no perfect investment, but thankfully, there are plenty of good ones, and that's a start.

This is where you should focus your efforts. Start with the easy wins.

Simplifying the problem instead of chasing perfection allows you to take the necessary steps to get started. From there, you can build out your investments over time.

The general consensus suggests investing is too risky. I get it. A lot of trading activity can be speculative at best.

But the recent rise in interest rates means there are now higher interest rates, low-risk investments out there.

This is a game-changer. Now there are opportunities for even the most risk-averse investor to enter the market.

In 2022, we all felt first-hand the damage that inflation can do to our savings. Now more than ever, you need to be proactive to ensure you are putting your money to work.

Investment options that are backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government are now offering up to 5%.

This is the perfect place to start. Simple.

Yes, 5% a year won't make you a millionaire overnight, but that's not the game we are playing. At least not yet.

Start by improving your current situation, step by step. If you're accepting pennies from your deposit account, improve your returns by investing in short-term bonds.

Risk-free treasuries offer 4.8%, while the savings account rate for all financial institutions insured by the FDIC is 0.24%.

One simple change will almost 20x your return.

Take the easy wins, it doesn't all have to be as complicated as they make it out to be.

For anyone who is needs help, just reach out to me at mike@theislandinvestor.com or scan the QR code. Always happy to help.

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Ireland’s oldest citizen has Killarney connections

Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week. Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections. The previous record […]

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Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week.

Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections.

The previous record was held by 107-year-old Nancy Stewart who died on September 10 2021.

Although born in Belfast, Máirín went to school in the Mercy Convent. Her father was a customs and excise officer and the family moved around a lot eventually coming to Killarney after spells in County Down and Dublin.

Her mother came from the Rathmore area and her father was from Newmarket in County Cork.

She attended the Mercy Convent and has, in previous interviews, recalled growing up on the shores of Lough Lein.

“Neighbours who had three children were given the job of taking me to school,” she said. “They were annoyed because the children were going to school for two or three years but I was put in to the same class as them – my mother had taught me.”

In 2021 she featured in the book ‘Independence Memories: A People’s Portrait of the Early Days of the Irish Nation’, sharing stories of being kept in school in Killarney during an attack on the RIC barracks down the road.

In 1924 she started a degree in science and a diploma in education at University College Cork, before working in the pathology lab in University College Cork’s Department of Medicine for 16 years.

last year she recalled her story on the podcast: ‘Living History – Irish Life and Lore’.

During the broadcast she talked about her parents’ membership of the Gaelic League in 1910; the Spanish Flu in Ireland in 1918; The Black and Tans in Killarney in 1921; the early days of the new Free State; Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932, visiting the Basket Islands in 1929; and working in the UCC medical laboratory from 1932 until 1948.

This week President Michael D. Higgins hosted an afternoon tea event to celebrate the important role that a variety of people have and can play in different communities and Máirín was among the guests of honour.

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Philip is running over 100kms for Cancer charity

Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday. Phillip has already […]

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Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday.

Phillip has already completed four half marathons at various locations around Killarney – all in aid of Kerry Cancer Support Group – or the Cancer Bus as it popularly called.

This is the second time that Phillip has run four half marathon and an official race for the charity.

Back in 2021 he finished with 5km Run Killarney event but his finishing race this time around is over eight times the distance at 42kms.

“We are delighted with Philip’s continued fundraising support but also with his awareness raising for the charity,” Breda Dyland, Service Manager Kerry Cancer Support Trust.

“We are getting busier all the time and still get no statutory funding so are dependent on fundraisers like Philip’s to keep us on the road. We have just put our new wheelchair accessible bus on the Cork route so Philip’s funding will be going towards the operation of this vehicle.”

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