Me & My Money

Stephen Leddy, managing director, Hidden Hearing Ireland

Stephen Leddy: ‘Ultimately I’m not motivated by money but financial security is important to me as I have a family to support’

Stephen Leddy: ‘Ultimately I’m not motivated by money but financial security is important to me as I have a family to support’


Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m definitely a spender overall, but I save regularly. I remember my grandfather telling me a long time ago that there are no pockets in a shroud but my father countered this by advising me to save in the good times to prepare for the bad times. I took my grandfather’s advice. Carpe diem!

Do you shop around for better value?

Yes, but It depends on the product. For higher value items like electronics cars, etc I would research features, benefits and functionality firstly. It’s always important to look at the worth of all of the benefits being offered by each supplier and not just the monetary value.

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

Two years ago I purchased a 2009 Jaguar XKR 5.0L petrol V8 supercharged sports car, which I imported from England at a landed cost of €48,000.

When you lease or hire a new car on a Personal Contract Plan (PCP), it’s easy to forget about how costly your purchase actually is. However, when you have to pay cash or take out a bank loan for a car, you suddenly see how extravagant your purchase is. Especially when you have two children and can only fit one of them into your new car. Midlife crisis, I think.

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

Ten years ago we bought an Aga and it took us six months to learn how to cook with it. However, since then, it has given us some wonderfully-cooked food and kept our house warm in the winter. It’s very much part of the family and owes us absolutely nothing.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

It depends on the product but I do find myself shopping more online. I love the ease of online retail. For day-to-day groceries or clothes, I shop local.

Do you haggle over prices?

Always, especially as I am in retail myself. My wife and father-in-law are both great hagglers so I’m surrounded by it. The old phrase “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” is at the forefront of my mind always. You would be amazed how few people actually ask for a discount in retail stores.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

It probably should have but I don’t think it has in a hugely tangible way. However, I do find myself looking at prices, seeking out better “bundle or pack” value in the supermarket these days, but I will still spend the same amount on a good bottle of wine.

Do you invest in shares?

Yes, but I’m a relatively new to share investment. I thought it would be a good idea straight after Brexit to buy some UK shares, in solid companies, which had lost a large percentage of their value overnight. I bought Lloyds bank, Barclays bank and Sports Direct shares. So far, so good.

On the domestic side I’ve been following Bank of Ireland and I’ve also purchased some of their shares. It’s more a hobby than a serious investment strategy for me.

Cash or card?

Card for me. I very rarely carry cash and it really annoys me when a retail outlet or taxi does not have a card facility. I travel for business to Copenhagen a few times a year and their cashless society works a treat. Even hot dog sellers in mobile vans have card facilities. The biggest advance for me with card technology was the contactless payment option. Brilliant and swift! Why would you need cash anymore?

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

The last thing I bought was a cordless drill from Argos. When it came down to it, the deciding factor was the fact that it came with a “free” drill bit set. Was it value for money? I think it was and it seems to be good quality as it hasn’t broken down yet.

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

It may not appear to be a big purchase and is certainly not a specific item but I have saved over a period of time, via contributions, to my self-administered pension fund which is invested in a portfolio of investments.

Have you ever lost money?

I’ve definitely been stung with property investment, after buying a few investment properties just before the crash. It took me a while to offload them, ultimately at a loss. That was a tough life lesson but I guess, and know, I’m not alone on this one.

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

I have less than no interest in gambling of any sort. Ironically, however, in business I take risky decisions all of the time which have produced some big wins.

Is money important to you?

Ultimately I’m not motivated by money but financial security is important to me as I have a family to support. Money must be treated with respect and shared where and whenever possible. I certainly know a few people who found that money was the ruin of them.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have €9.50, just enough for two Americanos and a Peanut Fulfil bar (the best!)