A man said that to me some 30 years ago. He had I thought a special and unique way of saying something positive to all who called to his shop. He was a man called Sean Keegan who at one time ran a splendid hardware shop in Newbridge. I used to do some business with Sean and also bought some things for our home from him.

I hadn’t thought about Sean for a while but received an email last week from my good friend Tom Duffy a financial advisor in Mullingar who mentioned that he was good friends with a son of the late Sean Keegan. My name came up in conversation as Tom mentioned that he was coming to Cork to visit me.

Sean’s son Brian mentioned to Tom that when I was doing business with Sean that I suggested that he should take out a savings policy which he agreed to do.

The following is an extract taken from an email sent by Sean Keegan’s son Brian to Tom Duffy. I hope Brian doesn’t mind me quoting from it.

He said “Tom the next time you are talking to Ted Dwyer wish him my best. He may not remember but he sold me a policy way back in the early 1980’s when he was visiting my Dad. Like any young fellow I wasn’t sure about putting savings away as I had lots to spend the few bob I earned in the hardware shop at the time”.

In 1998 I went to London on a hardware apprenticeship, ending up meeting someone who got me into the financial services industry. It was tough, commission only, self employed, door to door life and pension sales.  I was close to giving up as I’d run out of funds but it was the Eagle Star policy that Ted sold me that saw me through and I cashed it in to give me the cash to start up a business idea I had at the time.

We’re now a £35 million turnover business doing FS and payroll”

When Tom was with me last Friday he phoned Brian and we had our first conversation in over 30 years and I must admit that for me it was a very special moment..

That is the magic of putting some money away each month because it means that in time it might be of real practical benefit to someone. When you have cash in a savings policy you can use it whenever you need it. When you go to the bank looking for money you might not always get it.

I have always tried to practice what I preached and for my own children I started little savings plan for each of them when they were young. Eamon used the proceeds as part of the deposit for his home and Owen found the cash of real importance when he changed his career path and went back to Trinity College as a mature student to become a physiotherapist.

So as you read this if you have young children why not start little savings plans for them so that in time they can use the proceeds to go to college or perhaps the money might be useful as part of a deposit to help them buy a home.

My children are now reared and so I have recently started to put little investments in place for our five grandchildren and just hope that I will still be around when they start to spend it!

Before I finish I want to talk about the Duffy family;

Tom Duffy was on his way to Kenmare to do the Ring of Beara cycle of almost 155 kilometres on Saturday which he successfully completed in 6 hours and 45 minutes. Well done Tom.

The Duffy’s are a true sporting family. Tom was telling me that as he was leaving Mullingar at 7 am on Friday morning on his way down to Cork he spotted his brother Gerry on the road returning home having just completed a training run. The same Gerry is the crazy runner who a few years ago ran 32 marathons in 32 days and after that just for a bit of diversion ran 10 ironman’s in 10 days. Read his book “Tick Tock Ten” it is an incredible read.

Gerry gave a wonderful talk a few years ago when we were opening City Life Galway and after the talk I said to him that the one regret I had was that I never did any running. “Start tomorrow was his immediate reply!” I said that I was too young but I promised him that I would start running when I reached the age of 70!

Tom was telling me about Gerry’s recent adventure which was running in a 100 mile road race. He finished third in a time of 18 hours and 30 minutes!

The final bit of the Duffy story that I like is that there was a third member of the Duffy family on the move at 7 am last Friday and this is obvious to me where all the Duffy madness comes from. It was Tom and Gerry’s Dad who was driving to the gym for his morning work out. Their Dad is 80 years of age! Good on you Dad!!!

Ted Dwyer Family Business

September 2014