Last month I attended a past presidents meeting of the LIA in Galway and sometime earlier I had gently persuaded Fergal Cormican, Eddie’s son, to take myself and our CEO Pat O Sullivan out on Lough Corrib for a day’s fishing before the meeting.

It was the time of the Mayfly hatching on the lake and it was amazing to see so many boats on the lake and indeed there were plenty of fine trout being landed. Fishing was good the fish were taking!

As you can see from the attached photo Fergal had fitted out Pat and myself in some wonderful fishing gear. And before you ask, yes I am afraid that the one thing missing from the photo is fish. We tried but unfortunately despite Fergal’s best efforts we failed to land any fish big enough to keep!

Naturally, when Fergal went out fishing two days later he caught all the fish that we had missed including a wonderful fresh spring salmon that presumable ended up in Eddie Cormican’s tummy! Eddie if so, it was well deserved as you did a great job in organising our splendid past presidents meeting.

Well done Fergal too you are an excellent fisherman and a very patient teacher.

 See photo of Fergal’s catch

Driving back down to Cork the following day I was thinking of the similarities between fishing and the work we do as financial planners in Ireland and the changes that have taken place in our economic climate over the last 10 years.

The certainty with fishing is that unless you have your bait in the water you will not catch a fish. We were dapping with artificial mayflies that day and our objective was to keep the fly in the water with the line just tense enough so that it appeared to the fish below to be a real fly floating across the lake in the breeze. Then when and if the fish took the bait we had to give the fly a little tug with the rod before the fish spat out the artificial fly. I have to admit I had a few chances and just didn’t react quickly enough to hook and land the fish.

The landing of big or small fish is I think a little bit down to luck as it is just as difficult to hook a small fish as a big one. In both situations everything has to be done well.

I can remember Tony Gordon a former president of LIA UK and indeed MDRT saying that it is just as easy to complete a large life insurance case as a small one. The large case is just bigger and often not very more complicated.

I think in Ireland it is now a great time to go fishing for business and that once again business is just waiting to happen.

Over these last 5 years, business has been difficult as the majority of Irish people were simply too scared to make financial decisions as they didn’t know if Ireland was going to go bankrupt or whether the Euro was going to collapse or whether their own businesses were going to survive or indeed whether their job would still be there for them next week!

To give you an example I had an electrician around to our house recently doing some work on a few lights in the garden and he asked me how my business was. I said it was ok but not brilliant(like his lights!) and I asked him how things were with him.

In the Celtic Tiger days he told me he had 12 or more people working with him now he has just 1. He said he was busy but really not sure if he was making money or not yet. I said to him that he was probably typical of so many people in Ireland who are now busy and working hard and probably just starting to make some profit. I said to him that in that case it might well be next year before he knew where he was financially and only then would he start to put some money into his savings and retirement plans. I said that I would look forward to sitting down with him then!

Never miss an opportunity to tee up a little business for the future!!!

As I said our business is like the fishing. If the fish aren’t taking it is very difficult to land a fish (or do business). The tide though is turning and in my view the next five years or so will be wonderful business years.

I say this for two reasons. 1) yes the economy is turning and people are slowly getting confident in their ability to make money into the future and 2) the people working in our business are by and large some of the most qualified and competent financial advisors in the world. This is thanks to the great work of the LIA in promoting and benchmarking minimum standards of qualification through the QFA and their involvement in recent years in the promotion of the CFP..the certified financial planner.

And finally don’t forget to keep chasing the big fish (the company owners) because they are the ones with the big problems and the big cheque books.

Tight lines and make sure you keep your fishing line in the water. Give yourself the chance of doing some business!

Ted Dwyer Family Business

June 2015