Money and me: Wake-up call was just in time for Dubai sales director

Money is extremely important to Elias Beyrouthy who says if he didn't like money, his boss would fire him.

Elias Beyrouthy is the sales director at Motorola Solutions. Sarah Dea / The National
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Elias Beyrouthy is the sales director at Motorola Solutions. The Spaniard, 35, moved to Dubai three years ago after previous stints in the UK and Germany and says he enjoys the sunshine here along with his hobbies of DJing, salsa dancing and learning new languages.

Describe your financial journey so far?

When I was a kid I saw myself with a suit and tie. However, during university I paid more attention to fun things such as hanging out with friends and going to parties, rather than spending time reading my business and economics books. Fortunately, during my last year of university, I took a different turn. I realised that to become strong financially, I had to stand out of the crowd. So I started developing a career in the high-paying field of international sales. Over the last 10 years, I have lived and worked in London and Berlin, until I moved to Dubai.

Are you a spender or saver?

During the first five years of my career, I used to live in the spur of the moment and the word “savings” wasn’t part of my dictionary. Nevertheless, I come from a humble family that was affected by the financial crisis in Spain and that was a huge wake-up call for me. I had to work harder to support my parents. Fortunately, I am happy to say I now have my finances under control with some money invested in property, besides a long-term pension plan and some medium-risk shares. I am planning for an early retirement, so I can spend more time with my family.

Is money important to you?

Absolutely, I work in sales. If I didn’t like money, my boss would fire me. I am quite ambitious and driven. If you are an athlete, then the number of matches that you win determines your success. In sales, success is measured by the amount of business that you bring to your company.

Have you made any financial mistakes along the way?

Yes, not saving or investing earlier. I’ve been renting for seven years instead of owning property. I think investment should be a subject at school — taught from a very young age. Last year, I invested in property in Downtown Dubai after reading a lot about the real estate industry and the expectations of Dubai as a financial and trade hub.

If you won Dh1 million, what would you do with it?

I would buy an apartment in a good location and rent it out. It has to generate a rental income higher than the mortgage, so I can have a positive cash flow. I would use the returns to help my parents during their old age.

What is your philosophy towards money?

Money is definitely not the only measure of success in life. However, money can give more security and freedom, it helps you save time and it allows you to have more choices in life for you and your loved ones. But of course, money can’t buy everything. As long as it’s used properly and not just wasted excessively on material objects, then it’s OK.

What has been your biggest financial lesson?

I think it’s extremely important to invest money in oneself. I speak four languages and continue building my business skills every year. I also think it’s necessary to plan for the future and for any unexpected emergencies that can occur to me and my family. I have seen a lot of people who overspent on luxurious cars, watches, bags and over-the-top holidays and went into bankruptcy very quickly. Spending beyond one’s own means is definitely a recipe for disaster.

What do you enjoy spending money on?

I like to travel and experience different cultures. I love speed, so I drive a sports car and I live in a vibrant prime location so I can enjoy dinning out in restaurants, concerts and performances, as well as socialising with my friends.

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