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Good times don’t last forever

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The S&P 500's steady climb higher was interrupted last week, reversing course to fall nearly 2%. The biggest weekly drop since February.

The Federal Reserve acted as the catalyst for this latest bout of volatility. Last Wednesday, the FED issued a revised outlook, signalling that interest rates are set to increase sooner than previously projected due to higher inflation forecasts.

While this FED adjustment resulted in a momentary pull back, market participants quickly reverted to their default setting of unwavering optimism, with the market hitting new all-time highs just five days later.

While unrelenting positivity is enough to sustain the current investing eutopia, history suggests that volatility will return at some point in the future. So instead of basking in the glory of your unrealized gains, use these periods of low volatility to prepare. Diversify, take profits on certain stocks that have notably appreciated and implement some downside protection.

Has the rotation into 'Value' run its course?

So-called value stocks, expected to benefit from the economic recovery, have outperformed in 2021, but this rotation trade has been out of favour in recent weeks.

Growth stocks, including the major tech names like Apple and Microsoft, have rallied since the Fed announced a slightly more aggressive stance on future rate hikes last week. The S&P growth index has added almost 2% since the announcement, compared with a drop of nearly 2% in the value index.

With the S&P Value index up 13% year-to-date, much of the re-opening trade has arguably been priced in the market. With that said, specific sectors such as energy and financials may still have room to run.

Cryptos pulled back once again as China continues its clampdown on miners and the Crypto space as a whole. The recent volatility has wiped out all of bitcoins 2021 profits, with Bitcoin briefly falling below 30,000 a coin. The cryptocurrency has now lost more than 50% from its mid-April highs of almost $65,000.

Commodities like copper slumped last week while Lumber recorded its worst week in history, falling 18%. Higher commodity prices have played a pivotal role in the recent inflation jump. This pullback in commodity prices suggests that the supply chain bottlenecks may be clearing in certain sectors of the economy. From a global perspective, the 're-opening' is still in its infancy, but these price adjustments suggest the inflation we are currently experiencing is, in fact, transient in nature.

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What is an Engineering Statutory Inspection?

By John Healy of Healy Insurances Equipment owners and managers can typically have a diverse, complex and large number of plant and equipment types under their direct control and or supervision. With this comes the legal responsibility to ensure it is safe and that the necessary Health and Safety requirements are being satisfied. An Engineering […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

Equipment owners and managers can typically have a diverse, complex and large number of plant and equipment types under their direct control and or supervision.

With this comes the legal responsibility to ensure it is safe and that the necessary Health and Safety requirements are being satisfied.

An Engineering policy will ensure that you satisfy the requirements of the Health, Safety & Welfare at Work legislation. Here is a brief outline of some of the most common plant and machinery that falls under this legislation.

* Forklifts and teleporters should be inspected and certified every 12 months
* Vehicle lifting tables should be inspected and certified every 12 months.
* Lifting plant such as hoists and goods/passenger lifts have an examination frequency of six months. Other machinery which are not lifting machines but have a lifting function, for example manual pallet trucks, excavators etc also require inspection under the health and safety acts.
* Steam boilers, steam receivers and air receivers should be inspected and certified every 26 months. Hot water boilers and café boilers should be examined every 12 months.

As you can see there are many sectors that are impacted by this legislation from construction and manufacturing to the hospitality industry, agri sector and motor industry. It should be emphasised that if there is an accident involving an item of plant an up to date certificate will be requested by both the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and the liability insurers. It is also vital to say that routine servicing of plant and machinery does not replace the legal requirement to hold up to date certification.

There are a wider range of insurers and inspectors who offer this service. It is crucial to get the best possible professional advice as policy wordings and covers can differ greatly.

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What to look out for when viewing second hand homes

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest. Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget. Viewing appointments can […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest.

Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget.
Viewing appointments can be arranged via a telephone call or a simple email to the selling agent. When making the appointment make it clear that the mortgage is in place and you are ‘ready to go’.

This week we will deal with viewing second hand homes and what to look out for on that first property viewing.

When you arrive at a house, you’ll get a general feel outside of how well it’s been maintained. Arrive early and study the exterior of the property before going in, and have a glance at neighbouring properties. This will help you to get your bearings before continuing with the viewing.

If viewing an older house, a musty smell is the first red flag for signs of damp. Also be wary of the smell of fresh paint; was this done to simply freshen the property up or what is it covering up? Is paintwork bubbling or flaking?

Take note of any wall cracking; hairline cracks in walls and ceilings are generally fine, but if you can spot a crack from the other side of the room, then it’s probably big enough to be concerned about.

In older houses, take a good look at windows and roofs. Window frames can slope downward if there are poor ground conditions underneath, and the roof of the house can sag in too.

Is there room to extend? If you are lucky enough that there is have a look for external manhole covers; it gives a good indication of the drainage and pipe layout which may complicate a future extension.

Don’t be afraid to ask the nosy questions; why is the house for sale? How long has it been on the market? How long have the current owners resided there? Has the house been rented out frequently? How many times has it changed hands in the last decade? Have there been any refurbishments? Has it been rewired/replumbed? Who are the neighbours? What is included in the selling price?

It is a good idea to take photos (with the agents consent) or videos as this will help you remember the property after you have returned home.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for more time. Spend as much time as you think you need to and don’t hesitate to request a second viewing.

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