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Our obsession with perfection

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Maybe I am showing my age here, but I remember the good old days when sitting down to decide what to watch on TV was a 30-second endeavour. You had four options, so making a decision was a whole lot easier.

Nowadays, I sit for hours, mindlessly scrolling through Netflix, trying to pick from an endless stream of titles I have never heard of before. The importance of this selection process is no laughing matter. More often than not, we just give up and end up watching nothing at all.

All this to say, there is such a thing as too much choice.

Supposedly choice frees us. While a certain amount of choice can be liberating and beneficial, too much can be overwhelming.

Making a decision is always hard, but the degree of difficulty is proportional to the number of choices you have. More is not always better.

"As the number of choices keeps growing, negative aspects of having a multitude of options begin to appear. As the number of choices grows further, the negatives escalate until we become overloaded. At this point, choice no longer liberates, but debilitates. It might even be said to tyrannize," Barry Schwartz, 'The Paradox of Choice'.

This analysis paralysis is not exclusive to Netflix. Picking the right investment is becoming harder and harder for several reasons.

The democratisation of the financial world is a fantastic thing, but it has created a new age problem; With endless options, where do you even start?

The endless barrage of news, noise and cautionary tales function to heighten our uncertainty. Making any decision even harder.

Finally, we are acutely aware of all the potential options and outcomes, so when something inevitably ends up being less than perfect, we are dissatisfied, blaming ourselves for the wrong choice we made.

As a result, we have become obsessed with always making the perfect decision. Nothing else will do. People get so caught up in sniffing out the perfect decision from the minefield of choice available to them that they end up doing nothing at all.

When investing, people seem to be under the impression that the only options when are 'safe' 0% returns from your deposit account or 100X return or bust from your YOLO Brokerage account. However, there is a beautiful middle ground that has provided stable returns to investors for generations that doesn’t get enough attention.

STOP OBSESSING

My advice. Stop obsessing about making the perfect investment and instead focus on improving your own situation day by day. Find the middle ground.

If your money is currently in a deposit account making negative real returns, then perhaps becoming a legendary investor is not the first order of business. Your primary objective is to stop losing money by leaving it sitting in the bank. Don't concern yourself with making the perfect investment. Simply finding an investment you are comfortable with will be a marked improvement compared to the guaranteed losses you are currently exposed to.

If you want to pick some individual names to invest in but don't know where to start, then narrow your focus. Hone in on a particular sector of the market you are interested in and analyze the main players within that sector. Using this knowledge base, you can do comparative analysis on the remaining companies in the industry and build out your investment decision from there.

There will be plenty of future winners in every sector; you just need to find one, so narrow your focus.

I get it; getting rich overnight has its appeal, and patience is a virtue no one has time for anymore. Still, obsessing about the exact right moves to make will end up in analysis paralysis. Instead, assess your own current situation and focus on improving it one step at a time.

Focus on progress, not perfection.

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New Patient Advocacy Service offering support to Kerry people

A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital. The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive […]

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A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital.

The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive (HSE) funded public acute hospital.

People in the Kerry area looking for support can contact the Patient Advocacy Service confidential helpline on 0818 293003 to speak to a trained advocate who will help them to get information on the HSE’s complaints investigation process, called ‘Your Service, Your Say’.

The professionally trained independent advocate will support and empower the person making the complaint, with the aim of highlighting their views and concerns.

The advocate will explain to the person how to write a formal complaint and what to include in it. They will also help the person prepare for meetings with the HSE about their complaint, and they will help the person explore their options following a response from the HSE to their complaint.

“Until now, people in Kerry and across Ireland who experienced difficulties in the Irish health service often felt there was nowhere for them to turn,” Service Manager for the Patient Advocacy Service, Claire Lehane, said.

GUIDANCE

“The newly established Patient Advocacy Service offers patients the guidance and information they need to make a complaint when they are unhappy with the care they receive. It is free, independent and run by our professionally trained patient advocates who will use their compassion and knowledge to guide people through the HSE complaints process.”

The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm, including lunchtimes. You can also email info@patientadvocacyservice.ie or for more information see patientadvocacyservice.ie.

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New Kerry Dublin flight takes off

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry-Dublin air route returned to the skies for the first time in nearly seven weeks today (Wednesday). Budget airline Ryanair has taken over the route following the collapse of Stobart Air on June 12. At around 1pm, one of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at the airport after completing its 50 minute […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry-Dublin air route returned to the skies for the first time in nearly seven weeks today (Wednesday).

Budget airline Ryanair has taken over the route following the collapse of Stobart Air on June 12.

At around 1pm, one of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at the airport after completing its 50 minute journey for Dublin.

Less than 25 minutes later it was back in the sky again for its return journey to the capital.

The flight will operate once a day until September 1 when the frequency will increase to twice daily.

“We are happy to report a positive start to the service which has been absent since early June,” the airport’s CEO John Mulhern told the Killarney Advertiser. “Ryanair intends to operate the route once a day until the end of August and has committed to restoring a twice-daily service from September.”

The route is operated on a commercial basis by Ryanair. Since 2011, Aer Lingus, through its subsidiary Aer Lingus Regional or its partners Aer Arran and Stobart Air operated the flight as a Government support Public Service Obligation (PSO). Previously, between 2008 and 2011 Ryanair operated the route on a commercial basis but withdrew at short notice as it could not make it profitable.

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