Monday, December 15, 2008

Savings/Investment/Pension 'Tips' for 2009

The Question : If you had just one 'tip' for the general public on savings/investments/pensions for 2009, what would it be?

The Answers :

"Make the most of your pension entitlements. There's no guarantee they'll remain so generous - especially as the national finances are so stretched. Pension tax breaks are the best "cushion" against volatile investment conditions." Niall Brady - Money Editor The Sunday-Times

"Educate yourself on personal finance issues, so that when it comes to buying a product you have a better understanding of what constitutes good value for money. I would recommend and as good free starting points. If you want to buy a book on the subject, you can't go far wrong with 'Loot' by Eddie Hobbs." Gerard Sheehy

"Property prices have fallen by at least 25% from their 2006/2007 high (based on transactions, not Asking Price!). This brings us back to around 2003 levels. The market is starved of capital. First-time buyers do not have the deposit necessary to secure the limited funding available, so they are continuing to rent. Rental levels in the better provincial towns are being maintained. If you have access to cash, then I see prices for good quality homes in central areas as being cheap. Interest rates are falling, while rental returns are now 4.5-5% in many areas of Clonmel, where a 3-bed semi, bought for €200k incl. legal and stamp, provides annual rental of €9,000 (€750 per month easily achievable)." Pat Quirke - PF Quirke & Co. Ltd.

"If people actually want to have a small punt next year I would personally suggest €5k in each of the following shares: McDonalds, Nestle, France Telecom and Eon. I would avoid financial shares and stick with food, telecoms and energy. These views are personal and anyone investing in shares needs to get the appropriate advice. Shares can go up as well a plummet!!!!!" - Eanna McCloskey - Managing Director Wealth Options Ltd.

"Be a hard saver." Charlie Weston - Personal Finance Editor Irish Independent

"Don’t let your long-term financial plans be altered by short-term events. If you signed up for a medium-risk pension fund three years ago and were comfortable with the fund’s profile and composition, don’t switch to cash just because it has gone down in 2008. You run the risk of missing the recovery, whenever that might be." Liam D. Ferguson - Ferguson & Associates

"First of all, markets are often strong in January not least because of pension flows in the US - do not mistake this for "the turn" you may have been waiting for. Secondly,be willing to look beyond the obvious when you think the worst has passed - corporate bonds could be a better recovery play than equities." Paul McCarville - Partner Clarus Investment Solutions

These are the personal opinions of the respondents. Do not confuse these 'Tips' with Advice.

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