‘We bought our house one month before the market reached a record high during the boom’

Me and my money: Alan Murphy, managing partner at Eversheds Sutherland

Alan Murphy of eversheds-sutherland.com

Alan Murphy of eversheds-sutherland.com

 

Are you a saver or a spender?

I’m a saver – years of corporate law have bred a healthy tendency towards risk aversion.

Do you shop around for better value?
Sometimes. I am a victim of the ‘three for the price of two’ and like to feel that I have got a good deal. It’s the Border counties in me.

What has been your most extravagant purchase and how much did it cost?
Our house. Purchased one month before the housing market reached a record high during the boom years. I am told repeatedly, though, that I am no longer allowed to mention this in polite society. One month. The absolute peak.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?
This year it would definitely be bikes for two of our kids, aged nine and six. The bikes enabled a summer of long cycles, exhaustion (for the parents) and grazed knees (for the kids. Mostly).

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?
Local. Local business is an important part of our local communities and therefore, an important part of who we are. I think it’s important to support it.

Do you haggle over prices?
Absolutely. Much to my wife’s embarrassment, but she’s got me to stop mentioning buying the house at the top of the boom, so she can’t win ‘em all. In another life, I would like to have been an antiques dealer.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?
Yes. As a family, we would be much more conscious of paying down debt and not over extending.  

Do you invest in shares?
Through a portfolio manager, but not otherwise. I think that investment in shares on your own account requires a lot of time, some knowledge and a bit of luck.

Cash or card?
Cash. 

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?
A book called Himself, by Jess Kidd. It’s a very funny, entertaining read, and so yes it was great value. It’s amazing the value you get from a good read.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase? See above… but I am not allowed to talk about it in polite society.

Have you ever lost money? Yes, during the recession, like many people.

Are you a gambler and if so have you ever had a big win?
No, I am not a gambler. My last big win was a side table that I won in a raffle at a school fair, aged 10. My parents, who bought the raffle ticket, declared me lucky at the time. I haven’t won anything since. And I bought my house at the peak of the... – oh, never mind.

Is money important to you?
Yes. But only because it’s the means to give my family a good and secure life.

How much money do you have on you now?
I am in our Stockholm office just now, so I have 2,000 Swedish crowns and €100.