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Archive for July, 2009

Meet Sligo’s Rose!!


You may not be aware of this but Sinead McGill who works with us here is representing Sligo in this year’s Rose of Tralee festival.

Sinead joined Flanagan Ford Financial Ltd in September 2006 and has recently become a qualified financial advisor, having already obtained a Bachelor Degree in Business Studies from Sligo Institute of Technology.

She is actively involved in their local GAA club; Eastern Harps, where Sinead plays on the Ladies team and is also the public relations officer for the club. The 25-year-old enjoys singing and acting and has been involved with the Gurteen Drama Society and has helped to raise money for local charities by taking part in numerous ‘Stars in Your Eyes’ fundraisers. Sinead has a keen interest in keeping fit and socializing.

Representing Sligo as the 2009 Sligo Rose of Tralee, Sinead will be the first ever Sligo Rose on stage in Tralee having progressed through the regional Finals in Portlaoise on the June bank holiday weekend where she was put through her paces in individual and group judging! Sinead was a hit on stage with Ray Darcy and the audience.

The festival itself runs from Friday 21st August to Wednesday 26th. Check out RTE on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26thto see Sinead on stage with Ray and hopefully this time Sligo (with the aid of Sinead) with leave Tralee victorious!! Why not go to the dome on the nights in question if you are holidaying in Tralee at that time. Click here to order tickets http://www.roseoftralee.ie/catalog/index.php/cPath/152 .

Make your Money Work Harder!

Were you ever disappointed when you got your deposit book updated or received your statement in the post with the amount of interest your bank gave you? We might have a solution!

Interest rates are at an all time low. It is good for those of us who have a mortgage but not so well for those of you who have money on deposit. Low interest rates coupled with an increase in DIRT tax means that it is so important for you to make sure your money is earning as much interest as possible. Below are some keen rates available to you through Flanagan Ford Financial Advisors.

      • Anglo Irish Bank Premium Demand Account (instant access) 3.10% AER
      • Anglo Irish Bank 1 Year Fixed Account 3.80% AER
      • Investec Bank UK (Ireland) Ltd 1 year Fixed account 3.50% AER
      • Permanent TSB 9 Months Fixed account 3.50% AER

      (rates applicable and correct as at 30/07/2009 and are subject to change)

Both Anglo and PTSB are covered under the government guarantee scheme for deposits up until Sept 2010. With Investec bank you have a bank guarantee up to £50,000 Stg.

  • We also have an excellent capital guarantee investment bond over 3 ½ years through BCP. With this investment you are guaranteed to get a 5% return paid back to you on a quarter of your investment amount after 12 months. The remaining 75% of your investment is invested in a basket of 25 shares. You can earn up to 35% on this portion of your investment depending on the average performance of the 25 shares. Click this link to read the key features of this investment http://www.bcp.ie/pdf_docs/June_09/Red_Key_Features.pdf .

If you would like to discuss these options or more please do not hesitate to contact us on 0719159222.

Save yourself money or enhance policy benefits!!!

We mentioned it before in an April blog and we believe very strongly about it so we are mentioning it again.


Reviewing various financial products and policies you own can lead to a saving in valuable euros. In some cases it might lead to enhanced benefits for the same cost but most of all after carrying out a review you will go away fully understanding what you have and how you and your family will benefit from it.

Whether by design or not, some products have names which could in the eyes of the customer, be readily termed as misleading. For example one could be forgiven for assuming that a whole of life policy covered you, based on current premiums, for the whole of your life. Unfortunately, in many situations this is not the case.

3 key ingredients for making sure that the product you have is right for you are;

1. Expertise – deal with a QFA who is truly independent and one that you can trust to build a long term relationship with.

2. Transparency for all parties – in terms of charges but also in terms of product knowledge. What a customer purchases should be exactly what the customer thought they purchased.

3. Alignment of goals – client and advisor working together with a common goal without a conflict of interest.

Products are changing constantly, customer’s needs and circumstances are changing constantly and the financial services industry is changing constantly. Therefore what you took out some years back might have been the right product at the right price then but today you might be able to achieve better terms.

Review the financial products that you have to make sure that none of the following usual suspects are lurking:

· Mortgage repayment protection policies – these policies are meant to safe-guard loan repayments if a borrower loses their job or is unable to work due to illness. This cover can be expensive and there have been very mixed experiences when people have tried to make a claim. Very much a bank product and usually sold as part of the mortgage. In Britain lenders are not allowed to sell these products at the same time as the loan is been agreed to allow people more time to shop around.

· Bid offer charges – A bid offer charge is usually 5% and it means that although your product may have stated a 100% allocation rate, only 95% of your money was invested on your behalf. Many older pension contracts would have this charge while newer ones may not.

· Older products – this is really the be all and end all of why someone should have a financial check up. What was good and competitive in days gone by might not be the case not. Open the old files gather the information and make an appointment.

· Unit linked whole of life products – Even saying it is hard never mind getting an explanation on what it means. It can be sold as a low cost whole of life policy which would be a good thing but in reality the policy is dependent on too many factors to remain “low cost”. How it works is this. Your premiums are paid into an investment fund, with the idea that as you get older and the cost of your cover increases, the future investment gains pay for your protection benefits. What happens when markets fall and to the scale that we have witnessed over the last 18 months? Well the client is hit with an unexpected jump in premium or reduction in benefits which is not good if the purpose of the policy was to cover a mortgage. If you need a protection plan that should last for 20 years or more you are better off with a term product, where you know what you will pay over the period chosen.

· Non disclosure of commission – on some products like company pensions there is no obligation by the intermediary to disclose the commissions being earned. To be on the safe side and so that it will never become an issue into the future, ask for voluntary disclosure. If you don’t get it, it might be something you need to think about.

· Lack of review/update – As mentioned earlier in this article, our financial circumstances are always changing, it only makes sense to review your affairs regularly.

Call us to arrange a review of your financial well being today 0719159222.