Supporting local football

We are delighted to continue supporting local sport in Athlone by sponsoring Gentex FC for the coming season. Thanks to Paul Mc Grath for the pictures and the very best of luck for the season ahead to Robbie Beaumont and all the lads. Rumour has it there’s a bit of a dream team being put together down there this summer

Investment Options For a Low Risk Investor

eggs2With deposit rates so low how can savers improve returns without too much risk?

This is a question we are being constantly asked by our clients and this month we take a look at investments you could consider given interest rates are likely to remain low for the foreseeable future.

Unless you opt for State savings, trying to get a better return on your money will always mean taking on more risk.

For investors that have a low risk profile then they are in a difficult situation because deposits are offering very little return.

If this is you, we believe Absolute Return Strategies are worth considering:

1) Absolute Return Strategy
If you are prepared to take on some risk, but not enough to warrant a stock market investment, you could consider an absolute return fund.

These funds are designed to protect the capital value of assets and to consistently achieve positive returns regardless of market conditions, and typically promise a return of cash and a particular percentage return. While they typically deliver a lower return than equities, they also tend to fall less than equities during periods of market stress.

There are a number of Absolute Return Funds available and most Life companies offer this fund option under their savings & investment contracts.  One of these funds is the BNY Global Real Return Fund available through New Ireland.

The green line in the graph below shows the performance of the fund from the 1st July 2011 to the 29th June 2016.  The orange line shows the funds benchmark or target return.  This fund aims to outperform cash (1-month EURIBOR) +4% p.a. over a rolling 5 year period (gross of tax and charges).  As you will see the target return for the fund over that period of time is 22.8% but the actual performance of the fund was 30%.


The fund looks to provide investors with solid long term investment return, with less short term risk. Using a multi-asset approach, the fund has flexibility to move across and between asset classes when the manager believes it is necessary. It is important to understand that your investment may still fall as well as rise and that you may receive back less than you originally invested.

Markets have been volatile over the past few weeks and the first graph below shows how the fund has performed over the short term, from the 1st June 2016 to the 10th July.

6 weeks

The graph below compares how the BNY Fund performed against the MSCI World Index which is an equity fund over the past 12 months and highlights the downside protection that exists in an fund like this.


A lot of companies have launched Easy Access Investments whereby you money is not locked away for any period of time and funds like the BNY Fund are available on these contracts.  Therefore you can invest without having to tie your money up, you have on demand access.  There is an interesting piece in the Irish Independent also that is worth a read

Give one of our Financial Advisers a call to discuss this further.

It is important to remember that:

Warning:  These funds may be effected by changes in currency exchange rates.

Warning:  The value of your investment may go down as well as up.

Warning:  Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance.

Warning:  If you invest in these funds you may lose some or all of the money you invest.


Best Wishes to St Peters FC

We are delighted to have continued our support of local football team St Peters Fc this season. Unfortunately their semi final of the FAI Junior Cup had to be abandonedPhoto on Saturday night due to bad weather but the game has been rearranged for Wednesday the 20th April and will take place again in Tullamore.

With Sheriff winning the other semi final yesterday St Peters are down to the last 3. Well done to Philip and all the players along with Rory and Barry and everyone behind the scenes on this great achievement.

The very best of luck next week from everyone in Planalife ‪#‎faijuniorcup‬ ‪#‎roadtoaviva‬

Economic Outlook Seminar 2016

2 3 4 7 8 10Friday the 11th of March heralded a very important day for us as we held our inaugural Investment and Economic Outlook Seminar 2016. The event took place in the Sheraton Hotel and attracted a very large audience of both clients and local business people. Guest speakers on the morning included Jim Power Chief Economist Friends First, who spoke widely about the Global and Domestic Economic situation at present. We were also delighted to have two other speakers addressing the crowd on both the “alternatives to deposit options” and “the Irish Property Market at present”.

All of the above stimulating a very interesting Q&A session afterwards.

Speaking after the seminar, Damien Kelly Managing Director said “We are delighted with this mornings seminar and would like to thank all whom attended, we at Planalife aim to provide the highest in standards with regard to offering our clients a first class service”.

Many thanks to all those who took the time to attend.

The New Easy Access Savings Account

Through the new Easy Access Savings Account it has never been easier save for that certain goal.

Savings €75 per week or €320 per month over 5 years could return over €20,000. This figure is reduced to €200 per month if you invest a lump sum of €7,500.

Over the last number of years, Ireland has enjoyed a historically low interest rate environment, which is great news for tracker
mortgage holders – but is not so good for deposit savers.

Currently money being held on deposit (e.g. in bank deposit accounts) is not earning much interest. The question you should ask yourself is whether you want your money to work harder?

Zurich’s Easy Access Saving and Investment plans are alternatives worth looking at. They give you access to your money at any time and you have a choice as to where your money is invested (and how much risk you want to take). You can watch your savings grow over time by putting an amount away regularly in an
Easy Access Savings Plan. Your savings are invested in a range of investment funds depending on your risk profile.

The Easy Access Savings Account is suitable if:

– You want to save regularly for at least five years.
– You want the potential to earn a good return on your savings.
– You want the flexibility of being able to access your savings if you need to, without any penalties.

Your savings and investments will be invested with a view to growing your money. How that money is invested depends on how much investment risk you are prepared to accept. Everyone’s attitude to risk is different. Choosing your own investment strategy will involve deciding on the level of return you are looking for and balancing it against the level of risk you
are comfortable with. That’s why Zurich offers a range of investment solutions with different levels of risk. If you would like to work out your attitude towards investment risk, check
out our Risk Profiler tool at

We hope you will see the benefits of taking action and be encouraged to do something for your savings today.


Warning: These figures are estimates only. They are not a reliable guide to the future performance of this investment.
Warning: If you invest in this product you may lose some or all of the money you invest.
Warning: This product may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates.
Warning: The value of your investment may go down as well as up.

Earn 2.3% AER over 5 Years

The BCP Fixed Income Plan 17 is the latest addition in the very successful product series.  The investment pays a significant premium over bank deposits and bank bonds.  100% capital security is provided by 2 leading international “A” rated banks.

BCP Fixed Income Plan 17 – 2.3% AER

  • 2.3% AER is paid out in March every year
  • Two “A3” rated banks (Moody’s)
  • 100% capital security at maturity is reliant on Investec Bank plc. (Irish Branch) and Banco Santander SA
  • 5 Year Term
  • Minimum investment €100,000
  • Closing Date 29th February 2016

Capital Security at maturity is reliant on Investec Bank plc. and Banco Santander.  If there is a Credit Event affecting Investec Bank plc all your money will be at risk.  If there is a Credit Event affecting Banco Santander SA you will lose all of your money

Warning:  If you invest in this product you may not have any access to your money for 5 years.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact us on 090 6492664 or email

What are your New Years Resolutions?

One in four of us have given up on our new year’s resolutions after only seven days according to a recent survey.

Had you planned tonew_years_resolutions_list eat healthy, save more, exercise often, buy a home or start saving for retirement? One minor setback doesn’t mean having to write off the rest of the year.

Improving personal finances is a popular New Year’s resolution. Here are a few ideas:

1) Know what you’re saving for. Do you have a dream to be financially independent by a certain age or to start your own business? Get your savings started by putting money away in an Emergency Fund for unexpected events. It can be hard to keep up with the bills at times, but putting money away for a rainy day is important.

2) Create a financial roadmap. What are your financial goals? Everyone needs to plan for basics like retirement – however far off that may be – but you can also map out your goals. Plan for big purchases like a house or a car and a vacation or education fund.

3) Review your existing policies. If you have life cover or mortgage protection in place at the moment and you have not reviewed these for a couple of years the cost for the cover may have reduced. Reviewing these policies can often save thousands over the term of the policy. The same goes with pensions, find out what charging structure you are paying and have an Independent Financial Adviser review same for you.

4) Start building an emergency fund. Start slowly with a few euro each month. For example, set aside €1 a day for a month. Then double that amount to €2 for the next month. Double that again a month later and keep that pattern up or talk to us about our Easy Access Savings Policy.

5) Look to the future. Buying a home, paying for college and retirement are all big-ticket items that require sound budgeting and credit management skills.

We have a number of qualified Financial Advisers here in Planalife who are all more than happy to discuss any of the above with you in more detail. Why not call us today?

New Easy Access Investment

eggs2The New Easy Access Bond through Zurich is suitable if you have a lump sum of money to invest, such as an inheritance or existing
savings. Your money can be invested in Zurich’s range of investment funds including the risk-rated Pathway Funds.

Choose if:
◗ You are looking to invest for five years or more.
◗ You have between €5,000 and €50,000 to invest.

The Benefits:
◗ You have an excellent investment fund choice to suit your attitude to risk.
◗ You can switch investment funds at any time.
◗ You can access your money at any stage.
◗ You can check the value of your investment bond any time by logging in to Zurich’s online Client Centre.

Call one of our Financial Advisors today to see if this is right for you.

Shortlisted for Best Broker in Leinster 2015

LPI Awards shortlisted 2014 logo

For the second year in a row, Planalife are delighted to announce that we have been short listed for Best Broker in Leinster at the IBA LPI Broker awards. This follows on from us winning the award last year and really puts us into the premier league of advice firms in Leinster and the midlands. Only 6 businesses have been short listed for this prestigious award, from a wide number of businesses originally nominated. The annual awards ceremony is run by the Irish Brokers Association, the representative body for Financial Advisers and Insurance Brokers in Ireland.
The award recognizes excellence in the provision of personal financial advice and the development of life assurance, investment and pension solutions. We like to think that winning the award and subsequent short listing for this award for the second year in a row is due recognition for the professionalism and commitment we have for our clients!
The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday the 19th of March in the Mansion House in Dublin. We will be competing against the 5 other companies short listed in our award category, fingers crossed!!

Planalife – Best Broker in Leinster

best broker in leinster

We were delighted and extremely honoured to have been named “Best Broker in Leinster” at the recent IBA Awards ceremony in the Mansion House in Dublin. We would like to thank our existing clients for their very loyal support over the past twenty years.