David answers questions on Galway Talks

QUESTION:  I have been considering buying gold or US Dollars as an investment, what are your suggestions on this?  ANSWER:  I would not recommend that you consider buying either, as you are exposing yourself to considerable risk.  Buying gold is like buying any commodity and it will fluctuate according to market values.  There is an unfortunate perception that buying gold is a safe option but this is not the case. 

The same would also apply to investing in currency markets.

QUESTION:  I am self-employed and paid into a Personal Pension Plan for many years.  I am not making any contributions at the moment as I cannot afford to.  What are your suggestions as to what I should do with my Pension? ANSWER:  Despite the fact that you are no longer making contributions to your Personal Pension Plan, it is important to review how these monies are invested.  The type of fund that you have may be unsuitable for your needs, when you took it out many years ago.  

The Pension market has changed dramatically over the recent years and a large number of modern funds have been launched which may be more suitable for you.

I would recommend that you get advice immediately. 

QUESTION:  I have a sum of money to invest and I am a conservative investor.  What options have I got? ANSWER:   Leaving money on deposit is not a wise option as interest rates are continuing to fall.  You may not be aware, but there are a considerable number of capital guaranteed investments available over periods ranging from 3 to 5 years.  Some of these investments provide for a deposit element that matures after 1 year and others can provide an annual income. 

I would recommend that you review what options are available and choose the one that is the most suitable for your requirements. 

QUESTION:  I am looking to pay into a Regular Savings Plan.  Can you make some suggestions?  ANSWER:  I am not a great “fan” of Unit-Linked Savings Plans and I would recommend that you open a Regular Savings Deposit Account which can pay up to 4% for monthly savings of up to €1,000 over a period of 1 year.