Thursday 27 July 2017

'We need money but it shouldn't become our God'

 

Explorer Pat Falvey
Explorer Pat Falvey
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Pat Falvey is an explorer, adventurer, film-maker, and motivational and after-dinner speaker. He has reached the summit of Mount Everest twice.

In 2008, the Corkman led the first Irish team to the South Pole in Antarctica. He is the author of a number of books including You Have the Power and The Summit. His autobiography, The Accidental Rebel, is due out next year.

What's the most important lesson about money which your career as an adventurer has taught you?

Yes, we need money - but money shouldn't become our God. At the age of 29, money had become my God - money controlled me, so I got depressed and tried to take my own life. It was only when I learned to manage money that I become happy. It's important not to become too greedy.

What's the most expensive country you ever visited?

Ireland can be quite expensive.

What's your favourite Irish coin?

The old Irish threepence. My granny used to pay me threepence every time I did work for her - and she used to make me save them. I had IR£1,000 by the time I was 12 - and it was made up of threepences.

Are you better off than your parents?

Yes, because my generation were born in the golden era where you could get into entrepreneurship without much education - and where the income of one worker in a marriage could be used to buy a house. But it's harder for our children. The expense that kids have to get through today means they will find it harder to be better off than my generation.

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

My car - a Mercedes-Benz.

What was your worst job?

When I first started working around the age of 16, I used to clean sewers. That was a hard job.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

In 1986, I overtraded and went broke. This happened because I had too much confidence in myself - and not enough knowledge.

What was your best financial killing?

I had a number of them. I bought some land in my 20s. Within a year of buying that land, I got my first break - that was my biggest financial killing.

Android or iPhone?

iPhone - and I wouldn't go beyond them. I think the iPhone is the best invention ever. It makes my life easier because I need it when travelling around the world. For seven months of every year, I spend my time on expeditions - and I spend the other five talking. I've an unusual and privileged life to do what I do.

Have you ever made an insurance claim?

My shed caught on fire once due to an electrical fault - and the fire then caught onto the house. That's the only time I've ever made a claim.

iTunes or Spotify?

iTunes

What was the last thing you bought online?

A climbing ice axe.

Do you have a mortgage?

I still have a mortgage but it's fairly low. I will have my mortgage paid next year.

Would you buy Irish property now?

Yes, but I'd be careful as property is starting to get expensive and the returns aren't as good as they were a few years ago.

Cash or card?

Both - but I use card more, because it's safer.

Do you ever haggle?

I haggle about everything and 90pc of the time, I get something off. I came from a poor background and my granny always said: "A dumb priest never got a parish."

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