If I’m going to do your job at least pay me for it… the M50

There are now new ‘gateless’ tolls on the M50. And one thing that means is that the people who used to work there are now gone, furthermore the ‘gates’ won’t break because they are not there, meaning there are no engineers required, nor will the coins that accept the change be breaking when some wise arse throws old 50p coins into it resulting in tailbacks. Then of course there is the security, every day armoured trucks had to go out to the toll plaza (in fact I’m surprised the place was never raided) and bring in all the money. So given that the tolls will now work for a cost close to free – assuming the depreciation on the new kit is written off over time and taking the energy the cameras use as negligible in comparison to what all the old costs added up to – why does it cost more? And an even bigger question is why do I have to pay more and yet do the job for them as well?

It’s one thing to ‘self service’ …

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If I'm going to do your job at least pay me for it… the M50

There are now new ‘gateless’ tolls on the M50. And one thing that means is that the people who used to work there are now gone, furthermore the ‘gates’ won’t break because they are not there, meaning there are no engineers required, nor will the coins that accept the change be breaking when some wise arse throws old 50p coins into it resulting in tailbacks. Then of course there is the security, every day armoured trucks had to go out to the toll plaza (in fact I’m surprised the place was never raided) and bring in all the money. So given that the tolls will now work for a cost close to free – assuming the depreciation on the new kit is written off over time and taking the energy the cameras use as negligible in comparison to what all the old costs added up to – why does it cost more? And an even bigger question is why do I have to pay more and yet do the job for them as well?

It’s one thing to ‘self service’ …

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So with lower house prices you make big savings right?….erm…kind of…

There has been much talk in the papers from many respected sources giving people the message that ‘now that prices have dropped its a good time to buy’. I think that the true nature of what purchasing a property boils down to needs to be examined before such a statement can be shown to be true or false.

Firstly you have to look at what you are actually getting and then you have to consider what it will cost you over the long term and do a like for like comparison for the same time last year, I think that not using 2007 as a control is one fundamental flaw that commentators are making because you can’t simply look at something and say that because its cheaper today it makes sense, if you do happen to believe that please call me immediately as I happen to have some cans of dog food that I was selling for €600 last year but you can have them at a steal for €300, but hurry, they’re going like hotcakes!

Anyway, moronic inklings aside, …

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A different idea for bailing out the property sector.

There is a bailout coming, we saw the makings of it for a long time, first there was the talk of the central bank about the underlying strength of Irish financial institutions, the constant lobbying for something to be done for the property & construction sector, then articles stating blatantly that a bailout would occur if there were problems. Now we have read that the government are going to make plans to help first time buyers because mortgage funding is not as readily available as it used to be.

Let us start on the right foot, first time buyers never had it easy to begin with (I actually did an article on this exact topic before – click here). They were either being hit with stamp duty, the need for deposits or other issues. Now the Government are looking to bail out people who haven’t even bought property yet and that is an error.

There are a few …

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Tom Parlon, preaching to the subverted.

I don’t often take swipes in this blog but today there is a difference, somebody or some one (preferably a qualified psychiatric professional) has to have a serious one to one with Tom Parlon of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) because he has finally crossed the Rubicon that divides reality from fantasy land and turned his attention towards the utterly insane, namely by stating in the Sunday Business Post that the solution to the economy is more houses.

Just when we are hearing how there is a massive oversupply, how in three years 250,000 houses were built to satisfy a demand of about 130,000 required, and when prices are falling out he comes with this little gem. Supply outstrips demand, and his response is ‘more supply’. Perhaps it would be wiser for the CIF to employ an actual builder or engineer to do his job rather than a politician who has no experience in doing the job of the people he represents.

In his article he points out that for every 10,000 houses built that …

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Financial Literacy: What is a Mortgage? How do mortgages work?

Financial Literacy posts are designed to be more than just a simple definition, they are aimed at putting financial concepts into easily understandable terms and to give an example or two to demonstrate the answers.

Today we ask: What is a Mortgage?

By definition a mortgage is pledging a property to a lender as security in return for a mortgage loan. While a mortgage is not an actual debt it is evidence of a debt and is the legal instrument used to transfer an interest in land from an owner to a lender on condition that it will be given back to the owner once the terms of the mortgage have been satisfied.

I am a big fan of pictures so we shall use a few to show what happens.

Let’s take the example of ‘Joe’ who wants to buy a house. He must save up a deposit as loans require ‘equity’ it gives the bank some security in the sense that it means the person is vested in the purchase (they stand to lose …

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Beat the bear that is beating the bull.

There are many lessons to be garnered from a financial crisis, the downside is that for most people 99% of the lesson is delivered only in hindsight.

Today we will look at some of the lessons you can take from a financial crisis and use them (or at least understand them) to your advantage. If we accept that risk (including upside risk – which is generally well loved!) is a reality then you can do your best to look objectively at this risk and what to be aware of.

1. The Government and Banks or Big Business are not there to help you or warn you: This is fairly straight forward but a surprising number of people feel that the government should have stopped house prices from falling, now we see people calling on the government to get the housing market kick started again and the singular binding feature is that in both cases nothing is done. Banks are just the same, in the USA Bear Stearns issued statements saying they were doing well only two days before being handed …

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