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Everyone needs a plan

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By Michael O’Connor  

Instead of obsessing over your hypothetical investment misses, put a plan in place to capture future opportunities.

I spoke last week about the abundance of opportunities in the current market. Yet, many investors remain transfixed on the opportunities they have already missed instead of putting the necessary steps in place to ensure they will be in a position to take advantage of the next opportunity.

People look at the run the stock market has been on since the drawdown in March 2020, rue the fact that they didn’t put everything they own into the high-flying tech stocks when they had the chance and then return to their everyday lives as if another opportunity will never arrive. In reality, the next opportunity is always just around the corner.

In the investing world, fortune favours the prepared. Those who know what they want to do and how they plan to do it will be able to strike while the iron is hot.

Here are a few tips to get you started with your investment plan

Know your numbers:

Understand your own investing goals, time horizon and target account size. This information will dictate how your investment plan needs to be structured to reach your goals.

Understand the basics:

Learning basic valuation metrics such as the PEG ratio, Price-to-sales, debt-to-equity, and Free Cash Flow will allow you to compare companies and sectors. You don’t necessarily need to calculate these numbers, as much of the information is readily available. You simply need to understand what they represent and when these figures are above or below expectation. This screening will prevent you from getting caught up in any overhyped growth stories or falling into any value traps.

Narrow your focus:

The investing universe is far too vast to truly be an expert in all areas. Trying to jump on every opportunity without the relevant knowledge is simply gambling. Focus on what you know and seek out opportunities in these areas.

Set up a watchlist:

Familiarise yourself with a chosen list of companies that are of particular interest to you. By closely tracking these preferred names, you will be able to notice and take immediate action when a buying opportunity presents itself.

Implement a rules-driven process:

When investing, your worst enemy tends to be yourself. Your emotions will introduce inherent uncertainty that is notoriously difficult to overcome. The ups and downs of the stock market can stir up costly emotions. Fear and greed.

Disciplined investors actively use a set of proven rules that protect them from themselves.

By implementing a rules-based approach, you can impose discipline on your decision-making by taking it out of your hands entirely. Tools like the humble checklist, Dollar-cost averaging, stock screening and stop-loss orders can help structure and simplify a world that is often overwhelming. The less factors you need to account for before making a decision, the more likely you are to invest when the opportunity presents itself.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be the one who is ready to invest when an opportunity arises while the competition is busy making up more anecdotes about another missed opportunity.

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Get your vehicle winter ready

By John Healy of Healy Insurances As we approach October it is a good time to get your vehicle ready for the winter and the change in conditions on the roads. Here is a checklist of the common items to help you prepare: * Check your liquid levels, screen wash, anti-freeze, coolant, oil, and fuel* […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

As we approach October it is a good time to get your vehicle ready for the winter and the change in conditions on the roads.

Here is a checklist of the common items to help you prepare:

* Check your liquid levels, screen wash, anti-freeze, coolant, oil, and fuel
* Check your car battery
* Clean your windows inside and out
* Clean your lights
* Check your tyres
* Consider fitting winter tyres
* Check your wiper blades
* Clear leaves from under your bonnet
* Ensure your car has a phone charger
* Make a winter survival kit

Many car garages and dealers will offer a winter service so it is worth checking locally.
In addition, here is a checklist of the items you should keep in your car this winter:

* Ice scraper and de-Icer
* Torch and spare batteries
* In-car phone charger or a power pack
* A road atlas in case you don’t have GPS
* First Aid kit
* Empty fuel can
* Hi-vis jacket/warning triangle
* Jump leads
* Spare clothes

Many insurers now include breakdown cover as standard on your motor insurance policy. Keep this number in your phone and in your vehicle.

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Mortgage approval received, what next?

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Once your mortgage application is approved, you should look for mortgage protection cover which is insurance that will pay off your mortgage if you die within the term of the policy. You should not wait until you have made an offer on a house or apartment before shopping […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Once your mortgage application is approved, you should look for mortgage protection cover which is insurance that will pay off your mortgage if you die within the term of the policy.

You should not wait until you have made an offer on a house or apartment before shopping around and applying for mortgage protection insurance. It can take some time to get approval, particularly if you have had poor health in the past. This could delay the sale as, by law, your lender must make sure that you have this cover before giving you a mortgage.

Most mortgage lenders offer to arrange mortgage protection insurance for you when you apply for a mortgage. You do not have to take your lender’s insurance, you are free to shop around for better value or a more suitable policy with other providers and brokers.

Another important element is appointing a solicitor to act on your behalf in the conveyancing – this is the legal work to transfer ownership of the property from the seller to you. It is a good idea to choose a solicitor before you start looking at properties, because as soon as your offer is accepted, the estate agent will ask for your solicitor’s details to pass onto the seller’s solicitor. Your solicitor will also check that the sale of the property is legal – that the person who is selling the property owns it and has the right to sell it, and that nobody else could claim to own it.

Your solicitor will also liaise with your mortgage provider at this point and help you through the whole process of mortgage drawdown, when the time is right.
You are now ready to look at properties and place bids with mortgage approval in place.

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