Me & My Money: Philip Brady, country manager, Canon Ireland
‘I much prefer to buy local. Maybe it’s a generation thing, but touching and trying the product is very important to me . . . And you can’t haggle online. I’d really miss that.’
Philip Brady: “I bought a set of golf clubs. For me, it was good value but I’m not sure my wife would agree. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I told her of this purchase.”
Are you a saver or a spender?
Probably more a spender than a saver. However, I don’t overreach myself. You work hard so I believe you should enjoy the fruits of your labour. For what I buy it’s quality over quantity every time.
Do you shop around for better value?
Most definitely. I could never just go out and buy something of significance on impulse without price-checking.
What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
Apart from my home and some investment properties, my BMW 5 Series is my most expensive purchase. It cost in excess of €40,000.
What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
My bike. It’s a specialised road bike that cost about €1,200 – actually, it only cost €700 after the Bike to Work scheme tax break. It’s a great item to bring on holidays (in Ireland) and see the local area – zero carbon footprint and getting fit at the same time.
How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
I much prefer to buy local. Maybe it’s a generation thing, but touching and trying the product is very important to me. Also, you can build a very good relationship with a store that can give you good advice. And you can’t haggle online. I’d really miss that.
Do you haggle over prices?
Nearly always, whether it’s a home appliance, TV service provider or a workman doing a job for me. I got the habit from my Dad. I actually remember him haggling with the sales assistant in the sports department in Clery’s in the 1970s. He was buying two tennis rackets for my younger brothers, and his standard approach was, ‘What’s your best price? What will you settle for?” And then, “How much for two?”
Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Just ask my kids! Once the reality of the recession kicked in, my focus changed to paying off all debts and my mortgages.
Do you invest in shares?
I have been trading shares since I was 18. Again, a habit I got from my Dad. I got the deposit for my house from investments in AIB, Heitons Holdings, IAWS and Atlantic Resources shares in the 1980s. To be honest, he was the brains behind it. It was really good fun reading the business section of The Irish Times on a daily basis to see the share movements and looking for the next punt.
Cash or card?
I am almost exclusively card, especially with the Contactless system for smaller purchases. I have always settled my credit card bills in full on a monthly basis to avoid the really high interest charges.
What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A set of golf clubs. For me, it was good value but I’m not sure my wife would agree. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I told her of this purchase.
Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?
I’m in that process now. My current car is seven years old and I’m overdue an upgrade. All going to plan for that new car in 2017!
Have you ever lost money?
In the investment sense, yes. Back in the early Noughties, I lost on some dot.com shares but fortunately, overall, I have been very lucky with my investments and have been a net winner.
Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?
I could count on two hands the number of bets I have placed on a horse or dogs in my lifetime – and they’re always small wagers.
Is money important to you?
I’m not blinded by a desire to earn money. There are other things in life I value over money such as my family, my health and my relationships with others. However, it’s important for me to feel comfortable about my living standards.
How much money do you have on you now?
Right now, I have €85, and £60 for business travel.
In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea