Based in Modena, Italy, the historical home of sports car excellence, ARES was founded by pioneers in the international trade of luxury vehicles and visionaries of proven, award-winning super sports car design. Dany Bahar, CEO of the company, shares his financial wisdom with us.
What was your first salary?
2.5 CHF (Swiss Francs) an hour waiting tables in my local windsurfing centre during the school holidays. As a 12-year-old I had a serious windsurfing habit I needed to fund!
Do you have any credit cards?
Yes, I don’t actually own a wallet, but I have a credit card. It’s a necessary evil when you travel as much as I do.
Do you save or spend?
Both – in moderation!
Have you ever been hard up?
Sure. As a kid, when I used all my money for windsurfing, I used to borrow from my friends just to be on the water as much as possible. I learned at a young age that money isn’t everything, but it is a great facilitator.
What is the best deal you have ever signed?
That’s a difficult question to answer, there have been so many deals that I’m proud of. It definitely wouldn’t be the one with the highest monetary value. I get satisfaction from putting the work in, negotiating and then closing.
Do you invest in shares?
Do you believe pensions are a good thing?
Yes, but I don’t believe that they are the only thing. I think they are a good back up but one should plan carefully for the future regardless.
What has been your best and worst investment?
I think my best is yet to come and I’ve also had plenty of bad investments. I like to think that I have learned from past mistakes and now I try to take a very pragmatic approach towards investments, I think it’s important to detach your emotions from the situation. That’s the theory anyway!
Do you manage your own financial affairs?
On the whole, yes, but I have several advisors who manage different areas for me so I can focus on my day job.
What is your top financial priority?
It used to be financial stability for the future, for my family. Now it’s about making the most of my investments so that I can retire as early as possible!
How many holidays did you take last year?
Never as many as I would like to! Last year nearly all my time was spent on the new business (ARES) but when you live in Dubai there is a constant holiday feel and every weekend when you head out to the beach feels like a holiday.
Do you have a money weakness for anything?
If I do, I haven’t discovered it yet. I like to be comfortable in my surroundings, but that doesn’t necessarily have to cost the earth. I have quite simple, but classic tastes.
What is the most extravagant item you have ever bought?
Easily my boat – it was worth every single penny. I love to escape everything and be on the water and what price do you put on peace and quiet!
Do you play the lottery and, if so, on what would you spend the jackpot if you won?
No, I don’t. I am a risk taker though so I probably use up my fair share of luck that way.
What is the best piece of financial advice you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice I was ever given was not to invest in something. Unfortunately for me, at that time, I ignored the advice and ended up losing a considerable amount of money. That experience taught me to question all my motives about investing and to further remove any form of emotional attachment from the equation! I live and learn.