Me & My Money

Harry Parkinson, chief executive Capitalflow

Harry Parkinson: “Money is important and can bring comfort, but it does not bring happiness. It is important that one recognises the difference between the two.”

Harry Parkinson: “Money is important and can bring comfort, but it does not bring happiness. It is important that one recognises the difference between the two.”

 

Are you a saver or a spender?

It is probably a cliché, but I tend to be both. When I put my mind to saving for something I can be very thrifty, but at the same time have no problem spending on quality items.

Do you shop around for better value?

From a personal perspective, I’m quite poor at shopping around as I tend to buy without first checking if there are cheaper options available. In business, however, I’m completely different; I always like to obtain three separate quotes before committing to a purchase.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?

To celebrate my 50th birthday, I bought myself my ultimate dream car. After such a big outlay, I’m now just about able to afford to fill it up with petrol.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

I used to be a passionate stamp collector as a teenager, and many of the stamps I purchased have increased considerably in value in the intervening years.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

I generally prefer to support local Irish businesses, particularly shops in my area. Shopping locally can also afford you a valuable insight into business sentiment on the high street. Having said that, there is a lot to be said for the convenience and value of certain online sites.

Do you haggle over prices?

In a personal capacity, very rarely. One obvious exception was a recent family holiday to Morocco, where haggling is part of the culture. Haggling with the Marrakech souks proved to be a particularly entertaining experience.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Yes, it made me more cautious as an individual. I also witnessed at first hand the breakdown in trust between the banking sector and business community in the last decade. This legacy is still apparent today.

Do you invest in shares?

The last time I invested in shares was when I was in my 20s. I initially thought it was a quick way of getting rich. Needless to say, I learnt the hard way.

Cash or card?

I much prefer card.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

A recent skiing holiday with family and friends proved good value for money, and an experience that will live long in the memory.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

Yes, the most obvious example was our family home. It proved a great investment and a brilliant family home, but saving up for the initial deposit didn’t happen without a lot of sacrifice.

Have you ever lost money?

As a young man, I lost money in numerous stocks, which was a great lesson that you will never get rich gambling.

Are you a gambler and if so, have you ever had a big win?

I used to own a leg of a horse which was great fun but very expensive. I had one great win when it came in at 10/1, but I would be embarrassed to recount how many times it lost.

Is money important to you?

From a professional perspective, I see how having the right working capital can allow small businesses to grow and achieve their goals, so in that sense it is definitely important. From a personal view point, this same logic guides me. Money is important and can bring comfort, but it does not bring happiness. It is important that one recognises the difference between the two.

How much money do you have on you now?

A handful of coins and my debit card.

in conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea