Me & My Money: ‘I feel I’m the only man in Ireland with no Paddy Power account’

David Quinn, managing director, Investwise,

David Quinn: “All I want is enough cash to be able to support my kids, enjoy hobbies and holidays, and have a happy retirement.”

Are you a saver or a spender?

I am generally a spender. Even though I’m the financial adviser in the family, it’s my wife who is the saver. I try to direct most of our savings into our pension. This is much more tax efficient than saving in a deposit account or an investment portfolio where the tax on gains is 41 per cent.

Do you shop around for better value?

Always. I learned to never accept the first price from my father. I spent years embarrassed in shops when he asked those famous words: “any flexibility on the price?” Years later, I find myself doing exactly the same thing now, and I’ll probably embarrass my kids in the same way. Hopefully, they will learn the same lesson I did – that there is always “flexibility on the price”.

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

Definitely my Carbon Fibre Cannondale time trial bike back in 2003. It cost around €4,500 and seemed like a good idea at the time. It was my pride and joy. I sold it a couple of years later when I got over my triathlon phase, for a fraction of the original cost.

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

My first house. Again, my parents were a huge influence and encouraged me to buy a house in my mid-20s in 1999. It was a financial struggle for years but, in hindsight, I was very lucky to get that start. It’s not as easy for a 26-year-old in Dublin these days, unfortunately.


How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

I love to support local businesses, so I give my business to indigenous Irish companies whenever I can. I live in Howth and try to support the local independent butcher, wine shops, and so on, where possible.

Do you haggle over prices?

Almost always, and I’m a bit of a sucker for a discount.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

I’m not sure the recession has made much difference but, as I get older, I’m definitely less likely to spend money without good reason. Buying my car new in 2008 (which I still have) was probably my last big impulse buy. I’m much better now at taking some time to think over any big purchase.

Do you invest in shares?

Yes, I’m a firm believer in having my savings and pension in the stock market all the time. The values jump around on a daily basis, but I know from 20 years’ experience that equities will give me the best returns in the long run if I can resist temptation and stop interfering.

Cash or card?

Card. I use Apple Pay with my iPhone almost exclusively now, so hardly ever even carry a wallet these days.

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

I bought some clothes for my holiday today. I didn’t go for any of the summer sale items so I probably did over-spend. I really don’t think I needed those extra T-shirts.

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

I’ve always saved, so that has allowed me to buy relatively big items without borrowing. I bought my last car without borrowing and I’m constantly trying to convince clients not to buy new cars on PCP or through their companies. Instead, I recommend they go for something affordable without finance, and put those extra euros to work in their pensions.

Have you ever lost money?

My savings have gone up and down with the markets but never a permanent loss. Fifteen years ago, I left a wallet with €500 cash in a phone box in Greystones. That still hurts.

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

I’m not a gambler at all, and don’t even have a Paddy Power account. I feel like I’m the only man in the country that doesn’t have an online betting account, though.

Is money important to you?

Only in so far as it allows me flexibility to do what I want. I have no interest in being extremely wealthy. All I want is enough cash to be able to support my kids, enjoy hobbies and holidays, and have a happy retirement. I would prefer to work less and spend more time with family and hobbies rather than working long hours to earn more. I run my own business so I’m lucky to have that flexibility.

How much money do you have on you now?

Not a penny! I don’t even have my Visa debit card with me today. I totally rely on my iPhone/Apple Pay.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea