My American adventure: making an impact in Xela

Lago Atitlán, tranquility personified.

Hola mis amigos

It is Wednesday evening here in Xela, Guatemala. I am writing from my apartment, with my panoramic backdrop of the city surrounded by the mountains, the various shades of blue as the mountains and sky meet before the night sets in is something to behold. I have a bit of Eddie Vedder playing in the background, a strong cup of tea. Not bad at all.

The last five weeks or so since my last blog have been busy. I started working with Alterna Impact at the start of the month which has been interesting. I took in a puppy short term to provide some help to an organisation here that saves street dogs. We celebrated Guatemalan Independence here in Xela, what seemed to be a full month of weekend celebrations. As well, I took a trip to Lago Atitlán , an amazing spot to get away from everything and recharge the batteries. Read More

My American adventure: back in the investment world

El Cañón del Sumidero, Chiapas, México

Hola mis amigos, Guatemala has me now.

Once de la noche en Irlanda. Cinco de la tarde en Guatemala.

Friday evening here in Xela, the heavens have opened up, so no better time to pen a few notes on what has been going on over the last month. Read More

My American adventure: new ways of immersion

“I get by with a little help from my friends”. My attempt at art to say gracias for help I received from my Spanish teacher.

Hola mis amigos, la vida es buena aquí en Guatemala.

I’ve been living in Xela for just over two months now. My Spanish is improving every day and I’m finding new ways of becoming immersed in the city. I have tried to make a difference by leading a new project, a weekend coffee tour to Santa Anita, a community of ex Guerrillas who now harvest organic coffee. I have also continued to pursue my quest to learn more about impact investing, recently meeting with a local impact investment firm called Alterna Impact. Read More

My American adventure: at home in Guatemala

View from the top of Volcán San Pedro (Lago de Atitlán)

Hola mis amigos

I am now living in Guatemala.

Yes, Quetzaltenango (more commonly called Xela after its original Mayan name), Guatemala’s second largest city, is where I am calling home for a while. I have rented an apartment here with amazing views of the city and the surrounding mountains. While the city can look run down at first glance, its character will suck you in, as has been the case for me.

When I left Ireland I wrote “plans change, I’ll see where the road takes me”. Well the loose plan I left with has become even looser.  I have embraced life here in Xela and the heavens have paid me back in spades with everything falling into place better than I could have hoped for. Read More

My American adventure: Toronto and Mexico City

Hola mis amigos.

As I write this I am on my flight out of Mexico City to Tapachula, a town in Chiapas in the South of Mexico and on the border of Guatemala. I spend two nights there before I make my way across the border into Guatemala, to live with a Guatemalan family and start my Spanish classes.

While it is still early days on my adventure, I could not have asked for a better start. My conviction for my decision to leave everything behind in Ireland and hit the road again has grown stronger every day. Read More

Leaving on a jet plane….

Every great adventure begins with a goodbye.

So it is that I face a series of goodbyes over the next 10 days or so before I embark on my next great adventure, travelling across Central & South America.

Later this week I say goodbye to Invesco, a company I have worked with for almost five years (how the years fly by!). The fact that it is more than double the length of time I have spent in any other company prior to that speaks for itself. I have had good times here, made some great friends and worked with some nice clients along the way.

Therefore, the easy decision would be to stay and cling to the safe option, a path with a fairly high degree of certainty in terms of how my life plays out. But as the philosopher Alan Watts once said “a completely predictable future is already the past”. I have always tried to embrace the possibilities life offers and so I feel the time is right to pursue a new challenge. Read More

What a wonderful world…Spicer, Trump and Cheerleaders

There were two press moments last week that summed up the craziness of the world we live in right now, both as you would expect coming from the United States. Read More

Ronnie Moran: the last of the boot room boys

‘The Boot Room Boys’ – Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Ronnie Moran, Reuben Bennett & Tom Saunders at Melwood

Bill Shankly is famous for saying that “Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that”. Well one man that gave his life to Liverpool Football Club is Ronnie Moran, who sadly passed away last week at the age of 83.

Perhaps unrivalled in football, the man known as ‘Mr. Liverpool’ gave 49 years to Liverpool football club, as a player, coach, physio, reserve-team coach, assistant manager and caretaker manager. The outpouring of tributes from former Liverpool players highlights the contribution he made to the club. Read More

Warren Buffett’s recommendation: choose passive

Warren Buffett shares his recommendation to investors

In the world of investment management one of the most revered active investment managers is Warren Buffett. Known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, Buffett has delivered considerable returns for his Berkshire Hathaway shareholders over the last 52 years. When Buffett speaks people listen. Read More

Short-termism, love and acting with class

Last week, the football world provided us with yet another example of short-termism. Claudio Ranieri was sacked as manager of Leicester City, less than a year after winning the Premier League.

Of course, no manager is safe these days but Ranieri achieved the impossible dream with a team bookies rated as 5000-1 to win the league at the start of the 2015/2016 season. He pulled off a miracle, there is no other way to describe it. Read More