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The best way to learn is to start

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By Michael O’Connor 

 

While I advocate education as a fast-track to becoming a confident investor, the idea that you need to know everything can be a major deterrent for would-be investors.

Breaking News: nobody has all the answers to this game, and nobody ever will, no matter how many hours they dedicate to it.

The feeling that you don't know enough is often used as a procrastination tool regardless of your knowledge. I've also seen firsthand how people can get stuck in a learning loop without ever buying a stock.

Across so many aspects of life, the best way to learn is to start, and investing is no different. Just put one foot in front of the other. The learning curve may be steep, you will undoubtedly make some mistakes along the way, but practical experience trumps academic theory every time.

Your first step? Set up a brokerage account

Your second step? Create a watchlist

Create a list of stocks and Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) you would like to invest in. This watchlist will change and grow over time, but here is a solid base from which to start. Focus on companies you like, companies you use every day, products that you use today that you believe you will still be using 10 years from now.

And finally, it's time to whittle down your watchlist to just one stock. We're not talking about your life savings here; you can put as little as €10 down. Take your time and pick a company you are a customer of or one you interact with regularly; maybe it's an App on your phone that you can't live without or a service that you think more and more people will need in the future. Your first pick doesn't have to be perfect, but I promise you it will pique your interest in that company and everything about it. This newfound interest may lead to further investments within the company or act as a knowledge base for comparison against other similar businesses going forward.

Start small but start now.

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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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