My Money: ‘I always buy on value as opposed to price‘

Liam Fennelly is an engineer, entrepreneur and author. His latest book, Countdown to Launch, co-authored with Greg Devlin, aims to show how techniques borrowed from MBA programmes and world-class incubators can help entrepreneurs plan a new business, product or service launch. He will be appearing at the Dublin Book Festival ‘Business Clinic‘ event with Sean Gallagher and Siobhán Murray on Thursday.

What‘s the most important lesson about money your time as an entrepreneur has taught you?

Keep tight control of the cashflow and always think six to 12 months ahead. It‘s the single biggest reason for the failure of a startup. Also, get that first customer ASAP and start generating revenue. The personal equivalent of this is having your own rainy day fund. You never know when an emergency will arise.

The most expensive place you ever visited?

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Probably a toss-up between Norway and Iceland. North of €10 for a pint of beer (the Irishman‘s benchmark!).

What‘s the best advice you ever got about money?

I couldn‘t possibly call it personal advice but Oscar Wilde‘s definition of a cynic – a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing – was an eye-opener for me.

I always buy on value as opposed to price. Something (or someone) could be very expensive, yet still great value (and vice versa).

Apart from property, what‘s the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

A 1935 Armstrong Siddeley Touring Coupe. It‘s been in my garage for 20 years now (my retirement project).

What was your worst job?

#bb-iawr-inarticle- { clear: both; margin: 0 0 15px; }

Grape picking in France as a student. It was back-breaking for me (6‘6″) leaning into vines all day.

Are you better off than your parents?

By most yardsticks, yes. Certainly much more travelled.

In their day, visiting places like the Kremlin or Tiananmen Square was just out of the question.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

I guess I‘ve been lucky in that I‘ve avoided any disasters so far. Some Eircom shares is about all I can think of.

What was your best financial killing?

Buying low and selling high in a property deal.

If you won the Euromillions, what would you do with the money?

After divvying out a nominal amount to family, life as a philanthropist appeals to me.

If you could design your own euro note, what image would you put on it?

Wouldn‘t it be a wonderful irony post-Brexit to have Winston Churchill‘s image on a note?

He was one of the first to call for a ‘United States of Europe‘, as he was convinced it was the only way to guarantee peace.

iTunes or Spotify?

Spotify, although at home I use Alexa/Amazon Prime for most of my music nowadays.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A couple of pairs of chinos. At my height, you can‘t buy them readily in your typical menswear department or shop.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Nope.

Would you buy property now?

Probably not. It‘s a long-term investment these days. If I was younger, I probably would.

Do you ever haggle?

Maybe on holidays at market stalls. My wife loves buying antiques and other knick-knacks at boot sales and haggles all the time.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

My phone (with Sky Go app), my Takamine guitar and my espresso machine.

Sunday Indo Business

Liam Fennelly is an engineer, entrepreneur and author. His latest book, Countdown to Launch, co-authored with Greg Devlin, aims to show how techniques borrowed from MBA programmes and world-class incubators can help entrepreneurs plan a new business, product or service launch. He will be appearing at the Dublin Book Festival ‘Business Clinic‘ event with Sean Gallagher and Siobhán Murray on Thursday.

What‘s the most important lesson about money your time as an entrepreneur has taught you?

Keep tight control of the cashflow and always think six to 12 months ahead. It‘s the single biggest reason for the failure of a startup. Also, get that first customer ASAP and start generating revenue. The personal equivalent of this is having your own rainy day fund. You never know when an emergency will arise.

The most expensive place you ever visited?

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Probably a toss-up between Norway and Iceland. North of €10 for a pint of beer (the Irishman‘s benchmark!).

What‘s the best advice you ever got about money?

I couldn‘t possibly call it personal advice but Oscar Wilde‘s definition of a cynic – a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing – was an eye-opener for me.

I always buy on value as opposed to price. Something (or someone) could be very expensive, yet still great value (and vice versa).

Apart from property, what‘s the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

A 1935 Armstrong Siddeley Touring Coupe. It‘s been in my garage for 20 years now (my retirement project).

What was your worst job?

#bb-iawr-inarticle- { clear: both; margin: 0 0 15px; }

Grape picking in France as a student. It was back-breaking for me (6‘6″) leaning into vines all day.

Are you better off than your parents?

By most yardsticks, yes. Certainly much more travelled.

In their day, visiting places like the Kremlin or Tiananmen Square was just out of the question.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

I guess I‘ve been lucky in that I‘ve avoided any disasters so far. Some Eircom shares is about all I can think of.

What was your best financial killing?

Buying low and selling high in a property deal.

If you won the Euromillions, what would you do with the money?

After divvying out a nominal amount to family, life as a philanthropist appeals to me.

If you could design your own euro note, what image would you put on it?

Wouldn‘t it be a wonderful irony post-Brexit to have Winston Churchill‘s image on a note?

He was one of the first to call for a ‘United States of Europe‘, as he was convinced it was the only way to guarantee peace.

iTunes or Spotify?

Spotify, although at home I use Alexa/Amazon Prime for most of my music nowadays.

What was the last thing you bought online?

A couple of pairs of chinos. At my height, you can‘t buy them readily in your typical menswear department or shop.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

Nope.

Would you buy property now?

Probably not. It‘s a long-term investment these days. If I was younger, I probably would.

Do you ever haggle?

Maybe on holidays at market stalls. My wife loves buying antiques and other knick-knacks at boot sales and haggles all the time.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

My phone (with Sky Go app), my Takamine guitar and my espresso machine.

Sunday Indo Business

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