‘I have a soft spot for surfboards; I currently have six’
Me & My Money: Kevin Hart, associate managing director, Kroll (of Duff & Phelps)
Kevin Hart, associate managing director at Kroll, which is a division of governance and risk solutions company Duff & Phelps
Are you a saver or a spender?
Overall, I am a saver but through life I’ve had to be flexible – I have three children each six years apart, so saving can be somewhat theoretical at times.
Do you shop around for better value?
I have become a lot more discerning – quality trumps price. There are some things I won’t compromise on, such as car tyres, and other things such as gas and power that I don’t mind saving a few euro on.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I have a soft spot for surfboards and currently have six. The most expensive one cost about €600 as I had to transport it from Hossegor, France, where it was custom-shaped by former professional surfer, Kevin Olsen. In my quest to justify spending money on surfing, I might end up buying the next board for one of my sons.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I recently bought a few shares in the Seven Brothers Brewing company through a crowd-sourcing platform, which was a first for me. I appreciate a well-run family business and try to support these businesses as much as possible.
How do you prefer to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?
Local is my preference. I’ve noticed that good shoe retailers have cottoned onto me looking at their websites towards the month-end, and I receive emails with pretty accurate suggestions on their products.
Do you haggle over prices?
Yes, I like to negotiate prices of second-hand musical instruments from online trading sites. I’ve negotiated a good price on a mandolin from a seller who also wanted me to buy his banjo.
How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?
We saved money on entertainment, fuel and school extras like after-school snacks and drinks. We subscribed to Disney Plus Channel and have enjoyed home movie nights as a family.
Do you invest in shares?
I recently invested in a private company that develops oncology therapies for patients and the aforementioned brewing company. I think a good mix of cash, real estate and share investments is ideal, and it’s a good idea to start early in life as it all adds up.
Cash or card?
I prefer card over cash.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
I just bought a book, Airline Management Finance, written by Victor Hughes. It was through Amazon and delivered from the US in two days.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Yes, we saved up enough for a deposit on a property by taking a hard look at our day-to-day spending. We realised we could save a lot by swapping electronic entertainment for live activities like beach walks and throwing a frisbee, and eating better at home instead of eating at restaurants, which are now reserved for special outings.
Have you ever lost money?
Yes, and I am very cautious after I bought shares in a South African listed company in 2015 that, sadly, are now 30 per cent of the original value.
Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
I don’t gamble in, say, a casino or bet on horses, although I occasionally take a Lotto ticket, mostly when I am feeling tired and day-dreaming about taking a tropical island sabbatical for the rest of my life. If I won a large prize, I’d share the winnings with friends, family and with care homes.
Is money important to you?
Yes, money is important because it is part of our value system. I believe we ought to be good custodians of this resource and use it wisely. The best way we can support others who are in need is to ensure we are financially prosperous.
How much money do you have on you now?
It’s Friday afternoon and until five minutes ago, I had €20 in my wallet. My youngest two boys raided the wallet for their “Friday treats” time, which is our family’s way of celebrating a well-earned weekend.
in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea