Me & My Money
Carol Brick, managing director, CWM Wealth Management and HerMoney
Carol Brick, managing director at CWM Wealth Management: “I like to invest in a diverse portfolio of blue-chip shares across a wide variety of sectoral and geographical areas.” Photograph: Neil Danton.
Are you a saver or a spender?
I would say that I am a healthy mix of both. I have always been a steady consistent saver but I also like to indulge occasionally with a big spend on a luxury item or nice weekend away. I believe in a nice reward if you work hard for it.
Do you shop around for better value?
I wish I had the time to do more of this on day-to-day items but I really only shop around for value on big expenses such as health, home and motor insurance.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
My beautiful gold-coloured David Fielding wedding gown and wrap, which cost €4,000 back in 2009.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
With a 15-month-old son and a very busy lifestyle, my Crock Pot slow cooker has been the best item I have ever bought. Filled to the brim with fresh ingredients every night before bed, it is such a joy to arrive home after a busy day to the wonderful aroma of dinner piping hot and ready to serve. Essential for anyone on the go all the time.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
Again, it’s a mixture of both. Because I don’t have a lot of time for getting to the shops, it is convenient for required items to just arrive on your desk at work having ordered them online the night before. But, of course, there is nothing like having the time to shop and browse around your local shops, too. Having grown up in north Kerry, we were spoilt by having such wonderful family owned shops in country market towns like Listowel, Tralee and Castleisland. I would still say that these towns have the best boutiques in Ireland.
Do you haggle over prices?
No, but my husband is famous for it and I am always known to disappear into thin air in a shop if I hear the words, “So what’s your best price?”
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Without a doubt. Spending on luxuries such as spa trips, concerts and dining out have all greatly diminished.
Do you invest in shares?
Yes, I like to invest in a diverse portfolio of blue-chip shares across a wide variety of sectoral and geographical areas. Key here is diversification and, as a result, my portfolio has performed quite well with Kerry Group, Ryanair and Roche Holdings being the best performers over the long term.
Cash or card?
Card all the time. However, having had my card skimmed twice and quite a lot of third-party spending damage done to my bank account, I have become a lot more cautious when it comes to using it online.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
The Dyson Animal. This new cordless handheld V8 hoover is a household essential.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, my very first car – a 1990 Nissan Micra – which I saved for over a year. Belated apologies to anyone who met me on a quiet country road in Kerry during those first few crazy weeks of driving.
Have you ever lost money?
Yes. Most famously I lost over $1,500 in Sydney on New Year’s Eve 2006. My travelling companions at the time had just given me their money for a planned trip to Fraser Island, so I not only lost my own money, I lost theirs too. Not a very “Happy new year” as you can imagine.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I’m a big gambler – but only once a year and that’s for Cheltenham. I gather tips from all kinds of sources, and really study the form. I can proudly admit that I have had bets on the Gold Cup winners for the past three years – Coneygree being my biggest one moneywise as I placed my winning bet weeks in advance.
Is money important to you?
Yes, of course it is. Having money now is important to me but of even more importance is having enough money in retirement in order to travel and enjoy life to the full. Of course, ensuring that my husband and young son have money in the event of my premature death, or me having to give up work due to illness or injury, is of even more importance. That’s why it is essential for everyone to have suitable plans in place.
How much money do you have on you now?
I have €5 for a brown sandwich and a cappuccino in my local deli for lunch. I’m starving, so can’t wait.
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea