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How long can it last?

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Equity Wobble

US stock markets extended their recovery following a sharp sell-off at the start of the week. Mounting concerns over the spread of the Delta variant and its ability to interrupt a strong reopening and economic recovery resulted in the worst day for global stocks in some months on Monday.

Since then, a string of upbeat earnings reports and some aggressive 'buying the dip' strategies revived market optimism.

Double Your Money

The S&P 500 has now doubled in value in just 15 months following the March 2020 Pullback: The second fastest double in history, second only to the 1932 reversal after the infamous 80%+ crash of the great depression.

It is worth noting that the cumulative earnings for companies within the S&P 500 is set to double over the same period.

The market hasn't doubled for no reason despite what some market heretics proclaim.

A Closer Look

After a brief respite due to strong market rotation dynamics, the narrow breadth of the S&P 500 is back in focus. The S&P 500 is up 4% since June 3, but ~80% of that move can be attributed to just the largest five stocks. This concentration in returns is one to watch as narrowing breadth is a sign of internal weakness and can sometimes precede pullback periods.

Market Outlook

As we focus on the second half of the year, investors will undoubtedly be haunted by fleeting bouts of uncertainty. Echoes of 'this surely can't last forever' screech louder and louder as markets continue to notch up all-time highs. This uncertainty and doubt is an inherent part of the human condition that even the most steadfast investor must grapple with.

Lately, market participants are constantly worrying about, well, everything. Their concerns range from inflation and the Delta variant to tech regulation and tensions with China. None of these fears are irrational, but they are part and parcel of any investment. While all these concerns could negatively impact markets over the near term, there is no reward without risk, and historically, it hasn't paid to be a pessimist.

While the outlook is broadly positive, uncertainties remain, as mentioned above. Economic statistics have been consistently positive in recent times, but this positive news stream is now simply functioning to maintain the current levels of market exuberance.

As we advance, it won't be enough to say that businesses are recovering, and earnings are increasing. The market will need to hear about a stable recovery and more robust future earnings to come. As a result, market participants will be far more sensitive to any negative news, fuelling the fragility and volatility in the most exposed sectors of the market.

My overarching view is that economic recovery will persist, and upside remains, fuelled by higher earnings, fiscal stimulus, and low interest rates. With that said, pullbacks and market rotations are likely, and any deviation away from this base case scenario will create a painful environment for those holding the most speculative names.

As always, caution and patience are the order of the day.

For investing tips, go to www.theislandinvestor.com.

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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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