By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY
Our recent spell of good weather is certainly welcome but it does lead to some practical problems in the home.
With the mercury rising to 30 degrees in some areas and night time temperatures ‘dropping’ to only 19 degrees, we find ourselves doing everything in our power to try and stay cool.
With weather advisory warnings in place for high temperatures, we have all found our homes are heating up!
While we are quite happy to fork out our well-earned Euro for that foreign trip to the sun to bake in the Mediterranean heat, we now find ourselves in the unusual position of the good weather visiting us for a change!
While it is easy to enjoy the sunshine from the swimming pool in Portugal or the beach in Spain it is a different story when walking into your hot house at home.
Unfortunately, the large majority of us don’t have the luxury of air-conditioned homes as much of the new building technologies we have experienced revolve around heating our homes. We now find ourselves looking for ways to cool them down!
While the natural reaction is to open the windows, it is recommended to keep windows, blinds and curtains closed as this will keep the hot air out. If opening them, make sure to do so at opposite ends of the house to create an airflow throughout.
To circulate cool air inside, fill up some bowls with water and ice and place them in different areas of the house - in front of a fan works best if you have one.
Another simple but effective option is to cook outside. Use the BBQ as the oven generates heat inside the house.
Trying to get to sleep at night can be particularly difficult in soaring temperatures. Here is a novel tip to help you catch those z’s; consider freezing your bedcovers before going to bed!
It may sound daft but give it a try; strip the sheets, place in a bag and pop them in the freezer. When it is time to hit the pillow, simply put them back on and they will be nice and cool!
Also, try taking a cold shower before bed.
Any halogen light bulbs in the house will also create additional heat, so consider replacing with LED lights.
Open the attic hatch to keep the house as ventilated as possible, allowing heat to escape through the roof.
And finally turn off any appliances, like the TV, when not in use. Electrical appliances can give off a surprising quantity of heat, particularly while charging.
Proceed with caution
By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com Stock Market Surge Last week we saw a considerable rally in the stock market. On Thursday, lower-than-expected inflation figures were well received, resulting in the largest […]
By Michael O’Connor, theislandinvestor.com
Stock Market Surge
Last week we saw a considerable rally in the stock market. On Thursday, lower-than-expected inflation figures were well received, resulting in the largest one-day rally in over two and a half years.
Although US inflation remains near its highest level since the early 1980s, the latest monthly Consumer Price Index report brought some relief. Inflation rose at an annual 7.7% rate in October – down from 8.2% in September. This was enough to push the NASDAQ up more than 8%, while the S&P 500 added 6% for the week.
So as improving inflation numbers push markets higher, should investors be jumping in headfirst to avoid missing yet another market rally?
Not Out of the Woods Yet
In the last two years, we have seen rapid market recoveries play out at breakneck speed as Monetary support, ultra-low interest rates, and fiscal stimulus all conspired to drive markets higher.
In simple terms, when money is free, and governments are hell-bent on continuously printing more and more of it, asset prices increase.
This exuberance pushed prices and valuation multiples to questionable highs. Now, however, the money printer has been turned off, and interest rates have increased dramatically, leaving us in a far less supportive environment. Unsurprisingly, asset prices have fallen accordingly.
This recent pullback has stripped out much of the excess from markets, leaving stocks trading at much more attractive prices.
Household names such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla, Disney, Nike, Netflix, and Facebook have fallen between 30% and 75% in recent months. Now, the entry points into some of the best companies in the world are much easier to digest. This is welcome news for investors with a long-term outlook. But over the short term, it is vital to realise that many of these names are trading lower for a reason.
It can be tempting to assume that we will return to all-time high valuations now that inflation is starting to turn and markets have stripped out much of the excess in valuations. However, as we stare down the barrel of falling earnings, slowing economic activity, a less supportive monetary policy and persistent inflation, it would be naive to think that it’s all upside from here.
The positive momentum from last Thursday’s inflation print will fade, leaving market participants wrestling with the looming recessionary pressures.
Taking all the above into consideration, I believe the stock markets will remain within the 10% range it has traded in over the last month. This is likely to result in volatile horizontal trading over the coming weeks and months as positive moves due to falling inflation give way to market declines as earnings growth continues to slow.
The market appears to be moving past its overwhelming obsession with inflation, but unfortunately, this paves the way for all new worries. The slowing economic activity that is allowing inflation to fall in the first place now becomes enemy number one. Softer demand will lead to lower spending, leading to lower earnings which should theoretically lead to lower stock prices.
Unfortunately, the ferris wheel of worry continues to spin.
Considering all the above, I believe the stock market will remain within the 10% range it has traded in over the last month. This is likely to result in volatile horizontal trading over the coming weeks and months as positive moves due to falling inflation give way to market declines as earnings growth continues to slow.
Over the long-term, opportunities are more plentiful than ever as valuation multiples improve but for those expecting to make a quick buck over the coming weeks and months, proceed with caution.
If you have any questions reach out at www.theislandinvestor.com, I’m always happy to help.
Broadening the Vacant Homes grant
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Vacant property grants of up to €50,000 are to be extended to all vacant properties across the country in a bid to bring […]
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY
Vacant property grants of up to €50,000 are to be extended to all vacant properties across the country in a bid to bring as many unoccupied buildings back into use as family homes.
Until now the grant has provided financial supports to refurbished vacant properties in towns and villages only.
However, at the time of writing, it is expected that Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien will announce that he is bringing properties in inner city areas including Cork, Dublin, Galway, and Limerick as well as one-off farmhouses in rural locations into the scheme.
Over 400 applications for the scheme have been made to date since its launch in July of this year. While the qualifying criteria is to be broadened out, it is understood that there are currently no plans to increase the €50m which had been originally allocated for the scheme.
However, this could be reviewed if the scheme is oversubscribed.
Under the scheme, a grant of up €30,000 is available for the refurbishment of vacant properties for occupation as a principal private residence, including the conversion of a property which has not been used as residential heretofore.
However, people can apply for a top-up grant of up to €20,000 where the property is derelict and structurally unsound.
The grants, which are primarily aimed at helping first-time buyers to bridge the cost of refurbishing older and unused homes can also be combined with supports received under the Sustainable Energy Authority Of Ireland (SEAI) Better Energy Homes scheme.
Properties must be vacant for two years or more and built before 1993 to qualify.
Preliminary results from Census 2022 recorded more than 166,000 dwellings as vacant in the State.
While some of these may have been unoccupied on a temporary basis, more than 30% (48,387) of the dwellings vacant in 2022 were also out of use when the previous Census was carried out in 2016.
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