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The hottest stocks are quietly getting killed off

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By Michael O’Connor

Markets are constantly changing and adapting, but a timeless law is that money will always chase performance, leaving us a step behind.

Over the last six months, four stocks - Microsoft, Apple, Nvidia and Google - have generated almost 70% of the S&P 500's return.

Meanwhile, many of the retail investing favourites continue their precipitous decline.

In what has now been dubbed the Tarantino Market, the hottest stocks from last year are quietly getting killed in the basement while everything continues as normal in the front room.

Docusign, Square, and Twilio have all lost between 20% and 35% YTD
Teledoc, Zoom, Beyond Meat and Zillow have lost roughly 50% YTD
StoneCo, Pelaton and Lemonade are down between 65% and 80% YTD

The S&P 500 Index is up almost 25% this year, relentlessly hitting all-time highs in December while growth names crumble in the background.

A reminder that stock picking is hard, and nothing lasts forever.

Statistically impossible

For tech growth stocks that had produced record growth numbers in recent times, the endless upward trajectory was unsustainable, and those who assumed a perpetual state of hyper-growth are now beginning to sober up. It's a lesson learned.

It's easy to get drawn in by the enticing narrative that these mammoth growth rates create, but these growth rates will never persist; it's a statistical impossibility. 100% revenue growth is an impressive but manageable task if your total revenue is 100k. Doubling your revenue from $500 million to $1 billion is a much more arduous endeavour.

Don't get too attached to the hyper-growth story. The rate of growth is guaranteed to slow down over time, and much of this future growth is already baked into the price.

Ensure you have other areas of conviction that you can assign to the company. Every company can have a hyper-growth story at some time or another. You need to have enough conviction to stay the course as the narrative changes and companies encounter inevitable growing pains.

You will never expose yourself to the exponential returns these companies offer in the long run if your only metric is price. Focus on finding companies you believe in with strong moats, inspirational founders, and innovative IP - companies that correspond with your vision of the future. Focusing on understanding what you're invested in and why you are invested in it makes it a lot easier to ignore the guaranteed price fluctuations over time.

With that said, markets, companies and people change, so make sure to objectively assess your positions at regular intervals to ensure your original investment thesis still applies.

Momentum is a powerful force in today's market and making investments simply because a stock has gone up in price and you are looking to get in on the action can be a rewarding strategy in the short run.

Still, without understanding what you own and why you own it, you are in for a painstaking investment experience laced with perpetual uncertainty.

Make a plan

The recent losses across the popular retail investor names has highlighted the need to stay focused on the core principles of long-term investing.

· Don't get caught up on short-term moves. Focus on your long-term time horizon
· Make sure you have adequate diversification
· Be patient: There will be periods where markets fall over 10%, that is a guarantee
· Stay committed to the companies you believe in; conviction is everything
· Be an opportunist: Use market corrections to build out positions in your favourite stocks.

As always, you can find more investing information at theislandinvestor.com.

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Minister passes the buck on major road upgrade

By Sean Moriarty Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Eamon Ryan has passed the buck after being challenged on why the Killarney to Farranfore road has been further delayed. Transport […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Eamon Ryan has passed the buck after being challenged on why the Killarney to Farranfore road has been further delayed.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have been putting off the revelation of the preferred route corridor for the badly needed road for months.

Elected councillors at the January meeting of the Killarney Municipal District expressed their anger after TII failed to honour a pre-Christmas promise.

In November last year the roads authority said it would put the preferred corridor on public display by the start of December.

So far, nothing has been published.

This prompted local TD Michael Healy-Rae to bring the issue to the Dáil where he asked Minister Ryan to make a statement on the delay.

However, the Minister passed the buck, saying the matter was for the TII, the very agency that has not honoured its late 2022 promise.

“As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned,” said Ryan.

“This is also subject to the Public Spending Code and the necessary statutory approvals. In this context, TII is best placed to advise you on the status of this project. Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.”

Next Friday (February 10), will mark 10 working days from the date of the statement was made.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Contraceptive Services in Ireland

Birth control or contraception is the use of medicines, devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy. You can get contraception from most pharmacies in Ireland. Most contraception will need a prescription […]

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Birth control or contraception is the use of medicines, devices, or surgery to prevent pregnancy.

You can get contraception from most pharmacies in Ireland. Most contraception will need a prescription from a GP but you do not need a prescription for emergency contraception or condoms.

You can get prescriptions for contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as advice about contraception from GPs, voluntary organisations and private family planning clinics. Voluntary and private family planning clinics usually have charges but may waive them or have lower fees in certain cases.

In Budget 2023 it was announced that the age range for free contraception will be extended to include women aged 16 and aged 26 to 30, from 1 September 2023. This change requires legislation.

Is contraception free in Ireland?

You can get free contraception if you are:

A woman or person with a uterus
Aged 17 to 26
Living in Ireland

What contraception costs are free for people aged 17 to 26?

Any GP appointments about your contraception options
Contraception prescriptions from your doctor (at participating pharmacies)
Emergency contraception (the morning-after-pill)
Fitting, removal and check-ups of long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs)
Other types of contraception such as contraceptive injections, implants, IUS and IUDs (coils), the contraceptive patch and contraceptive ring
Prescriptions for combined oral contraception (the daily pill)

How do I get free contraception if I am aged 17 to 26?

You do not need a medical card.
You need to book an appointment with a GP or doctor to discuss your contraception. This appointment will be free. The GP and pharmacy will ask for your:

PPS number
Name
Date of birth
Address

Your GP will use this information to let the pharmacy know not to charge you for your free contraception prescription. You can also collect your free contraception from some family planning clinics.

Is contraception covered by my medical card?

If you have a medical card, you get free contraceptive drugs, devices and free GP services including contraceptive advice. This also includes emergency contraception. You will have to pay a prescription charge for items you get from pharmacies under the medical card scheme.

What is the situation, if I do not have a medical card?

If you do not have a medical card, and you are not eligible for the free contraception scheme (above), you will have to pay for contraception and contraceptive services. You may be able to reduce the cost of your contraception through the Drug Payment Scheme. For example, the cost of long-acting reversible contraceptives such as the IUS (hormonal coil) or IUD (copper coil). You may also be able to claim tax relief on medical expenses.

Can I get free condoms in Ireland?

Condoms are not free under the medical card or free contraception scheme.

You can get free condoms from:
Sexual health or GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinics
Some sexual health NGOs
Many third level colleges

Where can I get emergency contraception?

Emergency contraception is a back-up contraception. You can use emergency contraception up to five days after having unprotected sex, but it is more effective the sooner you take it after unprotected sex.
You can get emergency contraception tablets (sometimes called the morning-after pill) over the counter in most pharmacies without having to go to a doctor for a prescription.

You can get free emergency contraception if:

You have a medical card, or
You are a woman or person with a uterus, aged 17 to 26 and living in Ireland

You can read more about contraception services on the HSE website: www.sexualwellbeing.ie.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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