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Monday, 15th April 2024
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With this issue, FINANCE appears in a new A4 format, which we hope you will find easier to read, more compact and easier to store and reference. It is primarily a change of form, aimed at providing our subscribers with a more valuable service, which complements the services available through the magazine’s website. However in designing the new format we have also sought to reaffirm FINANCE’s original values, the values that have marked the publication since its first issue (also in an A4 format) in June 1987.

Back then our aim was to provide Ireland with a first class finance magazine, dedicated to providing coverage of global state-of-the-art practice in business, investment, and financial management.

Our aim shall be to continue to do that, both for the industry itself, for investors, and for corporate financial readers by delivering focused information on the best practices of finance, risk management, and developments in Ireland’s increasingly successful financial services community.

This month’s cover story reflects this. We are concerned in this instance that there has been an over-reliance on property, not because property itself is a questionable asset class, on the contrary, but because the asset allocation of Ireland Inc has been overly skewed towards just one asset class in the past decade.

This is not just being wise after the event. Indeed, it was logical for Ireland Inc to have so much tied up in residential property because it was such a successful asset class – so much so that it finally ended up in a bubble. It is true too that the “excessive” proportion of property in the Irish wealth distribution (indicated for example in the figures shown in the 2007 Bank of Ireland “Wealth of the Nation” report) was due to the very success of property as an asset class – there was a degree of auto correlation.

However, it is now “after the event”. The Irish property boom has passed, and it is not likely to return in the form seen in the past decade – for several reasons – most notably, that the next 10 years will not see a repeat of the special factors that characterised the last 10 – notably Ireland’s entry to the Eurozone, and the mostly property-targeted global credit bubble arising from over-leveraging through securitisation.

It thus is now appropriate for Irish investors to rebalance their portfolios, and the aim of many of the articles in this month’s issue is to show how.

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