Steven Barrett's Archive

Private pensions and not living in Ireland

Private pensions and not living in Ireland

Ireland is a lot different to when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s. For the last few decades, people actually want to come to Ireland to work. There are great opportunities for people to work for some of the biggest companies in the world. But just like the Irish move abroad and […]

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Should you divest your assets when you get old?

Should you divest your assets when you get old?

Years ago, anyone who had a work pension had a had a defined benefit pension. They didn’t have to worry about investment risk. Then came the defined contribution pension. You either invested in the With Profits fund or a Managed fund. At retirement, you purchased an annuity and that was the end of any concern […]

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Commissions aren't evil, but let the client choose

Commissions aren’t evil, but let the client choose

I remember when I was working on sales targets and charging as much commission as I could in telling clients “there’s no fee for you, the life company pays my fee.” This of course, isn’t true. The client pays for the broker’s commission through a higher annual management fee. I have explained how this works […]

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Time to load up on the death in service benefit

Time to load up on the death in service benefit

For members of occupational pension schemes, the maximum lump sum payable on the death of a member is four times final salary plus the value of the member’s contributions and AVC’s. Any amount over this had to be used to purchase an annuity. This meant that not many schemes with death in service benefits went […]

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What is happening with the banks and should I be worried?

What is happening with the banks and should I be worried?

We saw the collapse of two major banks in the US with Silicon Valley Bank in California and Signature Bank in New York failing. In Europe, Credit Suisse had to borrow up to $54 billion from the Swiss central bank. What happened and should we be worried that there will be another collapse of the […]

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Occupational pensions schemes - where's the advice?

Occupational pensions schemes – where’s the advice?

A friend of mine is eligible to join their new employer’s group pension scheme and asked me to advise them on it. Of course I obliged, but isn’t there a scheme broker to go through the scheme with them? No, they were sent an email with the form, asked to fill it out and return […]

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Warren Buffett Shareholder letter 2022

Warren Buffett Shareholder letter 2022

Warren Buffett issued his 2022 shareholder letter on 25 February. Over the last number of years, his letters has been getting shorter and this is the shortest one yet. But there are still nuggets of advice to gleam from it to help us be better investors. Saving is a habit “A common belief is that […]

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Do qualifications matter?

Do qualifications matter?

In the tv show Suits, Michael gets a job as an associate in top law firm Pearson Hardman, despite not having a law degree. They get several series out of this before he and the firm gets exposed and the firm is almost ruined. In professions like the law or accounting, you have to be […]

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How the change to PRSA rules has changed pension funding

How the change to PRSA rules has changed pension funding

Budget 2023 made some interesting changes to pension funding. Under traditional company pensions, a company can make generous contributions but there was a formula used in calculating how much can be made each year which the company could claim tax relief against. This formula included your age, salary, current pension values and a computation factor […]

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How are they doing now?

How are they doing now?

There were a couple of really good articles last week about the quick collapse of wealth. The first one in the Financial Times was about the final hours of FTX. It was a fascinating insight into the collapse of a company once worth $40 billion. Its founder Sam Bankman-Fried had a personal wealth of $20 […]

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