POCKET WATCH: John Donegan
John Donegan is head of sales and marketing for car company Volkswagen. His focus is growing Volkswagen’s market share in Ireland, and further establishing the brand.
"I spend a lot of my time working with our retailers and the factory to further develop the Volkswagen business," he says.
**What's the best investment you ever made?**
Ryanair’s shares and buying my current home.
**What's the worst investment you ever made?**
Irish Life & Permanent shares and most times after a game of golf I think it was my golf clubs!
**Do you own your own home or other investment property?**
I own my own home (along with the bank), but have never invested in an investment property.
**Do you have a pension?**
Yes, I have always put a big emphasis on paying into a pension and started my pension when I was 24 and working for Ryanair.
**Which investment options do you currently favour?**
A mixed investment strategy which includes cash, shares and property. I’m not a financial expert but I think there is still an opportunity to make reasonable returns by investing in emerging markets and in alternative energy companies.
**What financial advice would you give to someone starting in a career?**
Start saving as quickly as you can. I think if you can develop a savings habit early in your career it can help you access funding for big ticket items at a later stage.
**What was the best financial advice you ever received?**
Money is hard earned and easily spent.
**If you were the Minister for Finance for a day and could change one thing, what would it be?**
Reduce VAT to encourage more retail spending and introduce a new registration plate system so that the motor industry is not so focused on quarter 1.
**Are you a saver or a spender?**
Both. I thought the SSIA initiative introduced by Charlie McCreevy was a great way to encourage regular saving and it got me to be more focussed regarding saving every month.
**What's your top financial priority?**
Paying down my mortgage and being financially stable.
**How would you describe your attitude to your personal finances?**
Conservative. I do not tend to speculate much in shares.
**Have you made any changes to your personal spending habits as a result of the current economic environment?**
I shop around a bit more for groceries and clothes and I have particularly noticed the impact on my disposable income caused by the recent increase in diesel.
**What's your biggest indulgence?**
Spending money on my garden.
**If you had all the money you could wish for, what three things would you buy?**
1/ A boat
2/ An around the world holiday
3/ Guitar and lessons – I’d love to be able to play
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