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Failure is inevitable

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By Michael O’Connor

Successful investing is about learning from your mistakes... or mine!

Last week I shared a story about one of my friends who had lost a sizeable amount following an ill-informed yet entirely commonplace investing blunder. This week, to even up the playing field, I thought it would be only fair to go through some of my own hideous investments.

One of my first meaningful investments was into a cryptocurrency called Ripple (XRP) in late 2017. Armed with little-to-no understanding of the crypto space and about an hour of research, I decided that a $2,000 position was the only logical next step. My investment thesis at the time went something like this.

"It was trading at 20c a coin three weeks ago, and now it's at $2.20. If it continues like this, I'll be a millionaire by Easter."

It started off well, jumping from $2.20 to $3.30 a coin. A 30% jump in just a matter of days. My genius clearly knew no bounds.

The subsequent three months were somewhat less successful; it was a cataclysmic disaster, to put it mildly. The price did a vertical nosedive from $3.40 to $0.5c in a matter of weeks. My guaranteed millions had turned into a significant loss during a time when I definitely couldn't afford a 'significant loss'.. I was paying rent in Dublin at the time… enough said.

Another of my most memorable investing blunders is one I have discussed previously. This ended much more successfully but honestly haunts me far more than any loss ever will.

I purchased the much-beloved Canadian E-Commerce company 'Shopify' in late 2018 and sold after doubling my money just a few months later. I then watched on from the sidelines with tears in my eyes as Shopify went on one of the most relentless runs I have ever seen from a Large Cap company, a 20X jump from the day I purchased.

It may seem strange that I spend so much time regaling investing horror stories, given that my overall goal is to encourage and help people to start investing. Still, there is a couple of important universal take-aways from these personal anecdotes.

Nobody gets it right all the time

You simply need to be right more often than you are wrong. Casinos are heralded as money-making machines but only win 54% of the time. Not every investing position will be a winner. You will be wrong plenty of times during the course of your investing journey, and that's perfectly fine.

It's always important to highlight failures. We are all human. Modern technology has ensured that we are berated by personal highlight reels on a daily basis. Skills are advertised, flaws are hidden. We have a societal tendency to describe successful investors as having guru-like powers. This 'pedestal culture' means everyone else looks at them and says, "I could never do that", which is unfortunate because more people would be willing to try if they knew that those they admire are probably ordinary people who played the odds right. I know this held me back for longer than I care to admit.

"When you are keenly aware of your own struggles but blind to others", it's easy to assume you're missing some skill or secret that others have" – Morgan Housel.

Don't let fear of failure stop you from getting started. Learn by doing. I have learned a lot from all my investing mistakes, and they have ultimately made me more successful over time. While I am acutely aware that this sounds like something you would pull out of a fortune cookie at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet, it still stands true.

Start small but start now.

To learn how to start your own investing journey, visit www.theislandinvestor.com.

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Documents for driving abroad in Europe

By John Healy of Healy Insurances As of August 2021, a green card (or international motor insurance card) is no longer required for travel in the European Economic Area. This […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

As of August 2021, a green card (or international motor insurance card) is no longer required for travel in the European Economic Area.

This area includes all the European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You also don’t need a green card for Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland.

If you are travelling with your vehicle to the named counties you will still need to bring:

Your certificate of motor insurance
Your vehicle licencing certificate
Your driving licence
Your passport

If you are taking a company owned, hired or borrowed vehicle, you will need a letter of authorisation from the registered owner along with the vehicle licencing certificate.

It is important to check the legal requirements for the country you are driving in. Some EU countries including France will require you to carry the following items:

Reflective jackets for each occupant of the vehicle
Warning triangle
Headlamp beam deflectors
Breathalyser test
Spare bulb kit
First Aid Kit (compulsory in Austria, France and Germany)

It is advisable to have your travel insurance details, European breakdown cover details, health insurance details and your European Health Insurance card in your possession. Travel safe.

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Make your property look as appealing as possible

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Over the past few weeks we have looked at ways of spring cleaning our homes in preparation for going to the market. The […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Over the past few weeks we have looked at ways of spring cleaning our homes in preparation for going to the market. The final step and one of the most important is the kerb appeal of your home.

The exterior of your property is going to attract would-be buyers, it is a simple fact.

So let’s get it looking as well as we possibly can.

Our aim should be to make your property look as appealing as possible, to as many people as possible, ultimately leading to a higher selling price in a quicker timeframe.

Remember that first impressions last. After a long winter, things may not be looking their best in the garden but with the onset of spring and the warm sunny (hopefully) summer evenings, comes the opportunity in presenting our outdoor spaces in the best possible light.

Cut the lawns, brush the driveway, weed the flower beds, get those flower baskets and window boxes out. Lay out the patio furniture.

Do your footpaths/patio areas need a power hose?
How are the rainwater gutters – remove any debris/growth from them.

How’s the paintwork, are there any areas of peeling paint that need touching up?
Perhaps give the front door a lift with a new coat of paint.

Improving how your property looks from the outside is as important as how it feels once you’re inside, yet it often gets overlooked.

Remember our home is our most valuable asset so why not get it looking its very best. We get one chance to make that first impression so make it last, it will pay off.

For anyone considering selling their property or looking for advice on how best to prepare it for sale, contact DNG Ted Healy on 064 6639000 or killarney@dng.ie.

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