Saturday, August 29, 2009

My Top 10 Personal Finance Tips

Rule No. 1 - Never take Financial Advice from a Bank.

Rule No. 2 - Never, ever, forget Rule No. 1.

Rule No. 3 - Inertia is not your friend. It is the bedfellow of Financial Services Companies. Always look for cheaper alternatives.

Rule No. 4 - Be wary of the 'Past Performance' of Fund Managers as a reason to buy a product. It's irrelevant to what lies ahead.

Rule No. 5 - Educate yourself on investment and pension products so that you can eliminate the cost of financial advice.

Rule No. 6 - 'Free' Financial Review or 'Free' Impartial Advice - Where advertised; just steer clear.

Rule No.7 - Interview your Financial Advisor like you would a prospective key employee. Ask for references & recommendations.

Rule No. 8 -The average investor should not buy shares directly in companies. Low-Cost Index Tracking Funds is the way to go.

Rule No.9 - If you have to invest in a structured 'Tracker Bond'; only do so on a day that does not end with a 'y'.

Rule No. 10 - Diversify, Diversify, Diversify (your investments)- Over Asset Class, Sector and Region.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eagle Star (Zurich) Gold Fund

Eagle Star Zurich have launched a unit-linked Gold Fund as part of its Matrix Range of Funds. The Gold Fund is aimed at those who (i)would like to gain exposure to movements in the price of gold (ii) want to diversify a portfolio of existing assets and (iii) have a higher risk preference.

The fund tracks the spot price of gold by investing in an Exchange Traded Commodity(ETC), which is backed by physical gold. A currency risk arises here for the Irish Investor, as the spot price is denominated in US Dollars.

You can access this fund through the products available on the and websites. There are no entry or exit charges through these websites. The Annual Management Charge is 1%pa of funds invested but do bear in mind that this does not include any transaction charges that are made within the ETC.

NB: While the fund is available to pension and investment/savings clients: unfortunately, it is not available under a PRSA type product.

Warning: The value of your investment may go down as well as up. Some products/funds may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates.