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Being robbed by the bank



By Michael O’Connor from

This week, inflation in Europe hit 10.7%. Just 12 months ago, this figure was 4.1%.

Painfully high energy and food prices continued to push inflation to record levels. Over the past 12 months, energy prices rose by 41.9%, while food prices increased by 13.1%. With Russia's withdrawal from an agreement that allowed grain exports from Ukraine, grain prices are likely to go up even more.

Of course, we don't need to be told the exact figures. We can see it all around us; the food we buy, the bills we pay.

The precarious balancing act that the ECB now faces is too layered a discussion point for this short article, but it is a fight they are currently losing.

Statements from the IMF this week reiterate this point.

"European policymakers face severe trade-offs and tough policy choices as they address a toxic mix of weak growth and high inflation that could worsen."

As the outlook worsens, the knee-jerk reaction may be to do nothing. But this is not the answer.

One point I have been trying to press home with clients lately is - the price of inaction in the current inflationary environment is immense.

In economics, the Fisher Effect is the tendency for interest rates to change to follow the inflation rate. As inflation rates rise, so too should interest rates, or at least this was the case before the mass amounts of credit in the system made this an unviable option.

Historically, the Fisher Effect held true. In the late '70s, inflation ripped through economies and in turn, interest rates rose to nearly 20%. Those battling inflation had the ability to offset these rising prices by simply leaving their money accumulate the higher interest rates available in their savings accounts at the bank. Doing nothing was an option.

Since then, things have changed. Bank interest rates in the US reached an all-time high of 20% in March of 1980 before a precipitous decline brought interest rates to a record low of 0.25% in December of 2008. Europe took it a step further and introduced negative interest rates.

Despite the changing narrative, the old belief that 'your money is safe in the bank' still rings true for many. Unfortunately, the residual advice of a previous generation who benefited from a different economic framework muddies the clarity for many trying to save in this new environment.

What worked for your parents won't work for you. A lot has changed. Simply putting away a little money every week into a savings account isn't enough anymore if you want to be able to function as an independent adult. It's a harsh reality, but it's true.

What you are saving for is rising in price faster than you are saving, so you need to do something to tie yourself to these higher prices.

Take the first step

They say the price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake. This is especially true for so many investors in the current market.

On average, the stock market has returned roughly 10% annually since 1974. A far more enticing return than the pennies on offer in your savings account.

You don't need to make a huge decision regarding your life savings all at once. Focus on finding an investment better than your current deposit account and work from there.

Start small but start now. After that first step, it all gets a little easier.

Doing nothing is no longer an option.

If you have any questions, scan the QR code above and reach out. Always happy to help.

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Wine, art and lots of catching up at popular fundraiser

By Michelle Crean Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night. Over 50 exhibitors gathered in […]




By Michelle Crean

Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night.

Over 50 exhibitors gathered in the Great Southern Killarney as the Killarney Rotary Club’s fundraising event – which is one of the biggest in the town each year – was back after a COVID break.

During the afternoon the artists and crafters, many who travelled from all over Kerry, Clare, Cork and even Waterford this year, organised their display for the event. Later that evening there were a lot of familiar faces but also some new people who absolutely loved the evening.

There were many wines available to taste as well as cheese and breads at the event which is run in conjunction with Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney and Killarney Brewing Company.

“There was a huge attendance and everybody was in good spirits to be back to normal,” President of Rotary, Rayla Tadjimatova, said.

“Many of the patrons were buying some art as Christmas presents and the members of Rotary were delighted to be kept busy packing these. A portion of all art sales goes to the fundraiser. One local young man, who is only 16, exhibited his beautiful photographs of local scenic areas. There was an auction of donated works of art and a Kerry Jersey. All one hundred percent of the proceeds from this auction goes to the fundraiser.”

Mike Neeson entertained the crowd on arrival and right until the end of the night.

“Mike is a great supporter of our events and we would like to thank him for keeping everybody entertained.”

The Irish Pilgrimage Trust ran the raffle and they had some wonderful hampers and gifts to be won.

Beneficiaries from this year’s event are: Coolick NS, Gaelscoil Faithleann NS, Knockanes NS, Holy Cross Mercy NS, St Francis Special School, Kerry Stars, Killarney Athletic AFC, and Killarney Cougars Basketball Club.

She thanked everybody for attending and everyone for their help organising the event.

Some, she added, had never been before and said they did not know what exactly the night involved but will definitely be back again next time as it was “so enjoyable”.

“We hope the money raised will help the beneficiaries to proceed with projects,” she said.

“We are delighted for Rotary to be able to help these charities, community groups and schools through our fundraising event.”

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]




By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.


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