Me & My Money Peter Casey, former ‘Dragon’s Den’ presenter, and CEO Claddagh Resources

I had to buy a Jaguar as they are owned by my largest client, Tata

Peter Casey: Never been able to save. Just not in my DNA.

Peter Casey: Never been able to save. Just not in my DNA.

 

Are you a saver or a spender?

Definitely not a saver, but I detest shopping. My wife more than compensates for me in the shopping area, and she unfortunately has instilled a love for shopping in my three daughters. 
 
Do you shop around for better value?
The only enjoyable part of shopping is the haggling and negotiation around the price. That is why I never shop in department stores – they have taken all of the fun out of shopping.
 
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
I bought a farm in Derry 10 years ago for £1.4 million, back in the days when that was a lot of money. 
I tend to lose everything, so the most expensive thing I own is my car, a Jaguar XJL Supercharged Supersport. I had to buy a Jaguar as they are owned by my largest client, Tata. American Express told me that I hold the world record for the most lost credit cards, and that I am so far ahead that no one will ever catch up!
 
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
I suppose I have to say my wife’s engagement ring, but in reality, it would be my children’s education. I am hoping that in my old age they will remember how much they cost and make sure I end up in a really good nursing home that has a good wine list.
 
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I just cannot get how people enjoy online shopping. It is so unexciting. On the rare occasions that I do shop, I love to wander around old jewellery shops and antique shops. 
 
Do you haggle over prices? 
Love to. All our clients haggle and try to get the best deal for themselves, and I always try and do the same for my companies.
 
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes, I do not change my car as often. On a serious note, my wife is actually a very disciplined shopper and only buys when there are sales; she can wait for weeks whereas I walk in and make instant decisions. I recently bought a car in under 15 minutes. I rang the dealer and told him what I was thinking of and asked him to have everything lined up so I could sign once I decided. 
I drove out 15 minutes later in my new car.
 
Do you invest in shares?
Yes, I bought a million Bank of Ireland shares and five in Berkshire Hathaway. I bought and lost a lot of money in Apple shares, which is quite a feat. I thought I was buying 1,000, but told the broker 10,000, and then Steve Jobs announced the next day that his cancer had returned and the price plummeted, I panicked and sold a lot and lost a lot. 
I eventually told my wife and her only comment was, “stop selling, hold onto what you have left and never complain again about me buying shoes.” Eventually the price rebounded and I sold when I broke even. I should have held onto them!”
 
Cash or card?
Always card where possible, if I have not lost the wallet.
 
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
Earrings for my wife – and time will tell. She actually designed them herself, so hopefully when they arrive I will get a few extra brownie points.
 
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
Never been able to save. Just not in my DNA. I think I got that from my mother. I suppose, having nine children, she never had an opportunity to save. It was always pay cheque to pay cheque.
 
Have you ever lost money?
Loads of times. I made many bad investments, but I have selective amnesia. 
 
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I like the odd flutter, and won a lot on the toss of a coin. When I was selling my first business, we were £200,000 apart and neither of us would budge, so I suggested that we toss a coin. I won.
 
Is money important to you?
No, I have lost everything twice and made it back. Friends tell me that I am more fun to be around when I am not broke. I have some very rich friends, and money has certainly not brought them happiness.
 
How much money do you have on you now?
€600. I have two wallets, and each has a selection of cash and credit cards and a US or Irish driver’s licence. I keep them in different places, so if I lose one I am never stuck.
 
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea