‘My childhood dream was to own a Porsche 911’

Me & My Money: Karl Fitzpatrick, president, Chevron College

Karl Fitzpatrick, president, Chevron College

Karl Fitzpatrick, president, Chevron College


Are you a saver or a spender?

Both, but that wasn’t always the case. Money management skills were something I developed in my late 20s. I have great respect for the value of money. I also have a very strong work ethic and appreciate how hard-earned money can be. As a result, I think it is important to enjoy spending money, too. Otherwise, what’s all the effort for?

Do you shop around for better value?

Always. The bigger the price tag, the more time and effort I will put into securing the best value.

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

I grew up in a family passionate about cars, so my childhood dream was to own a Porsche 911. Luckily for me, I was able to realise this dream by the age of 30 in spite of it being a six-figure purchase.

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

Two standouts come to mind and for two totally different reasons. First, in 2012, I bought out Chevron Training [a Wexford-based healthcare training company]. At that time I could never have imagined the financial stability the business would provide me with. Second, in 2017, I returned to college to study for a law degree and that has been such a worthwhile investment from a personal development perspective.

How do you prefer to shop during Covid-19 restrictions – online or local?

My mantra has always been “local first”. As a Cork man, Wexford has been very good to me and my businesses.

Do you haggle over prices?

I enjoy negotiating. However, I place great emphasis on respecting the deal which has been made and I will never seek to renegotiate a deal that has already been agreed upon.

How has the Covid-19 crisis changed your spending habits?

Like everyone else in the country, my lifestyle spending choices related to the fun stuff in life. So my spending on travel, concerts, comedy gigs and eating out in restaurants has drastically declined.

Do you invest in shares?

Yes, I have always been interested in the stock market and particularly when the market is falling. Like most, I try to buy as close to the bottom of the market as possible. For instance, as a long-time customer of Royal Caribbean, I was astounded to see its share price fall sharply by 88 per cent in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic.

Cash or Card?

Neither, it’s Apple Pay all the way. Convenience has dictated that I no longer need to carry cash or a card with me on a day-to-day basis.

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

I recently purchased a piece of art for the home. As someone with an appreciation for good art, it has immeasurable value for me.

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

When I was saving for a deposit for my first house in my 20s, it took a concerted effort to reach the magic number. 

Have you ever lost money?

My approach to business, property or share-related investments has always been predicated on purchasing when the market is close to the bottom. It is at this point that the value of an investment can be maximised, but I am fortunate that I haven’t lost any money on investments to date.

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

By its very nature, business is both a gamble and a game. I play business like a game of chess by doing everything I can to understand the risks and mitigate them.

Is money important to you?

Yes. Ultimately, we are all driven by happiness. Financial independence takes away that worry and provides the confidence and freedom to enjoy the adventures of life.

How much money do you have on you now?

I have no money on me right now. That is the norm for me, as all my transactions are paid for with my iPhone.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea