Money and me: Nabil Al Rantisi is the managing director of the brokerage at Mena Corp. He is also a major shareholder in 1762, a popular sandwich shop in the Dubai International Finance Centre.
Don't just dream it … earn it
Nabil Al Rantisi is the managing director of the brokerage at Mena Corp, an investment company in Abu Dhabi. The Dubai native is also a major shareholder in 1762, a popular sandwich shop in the Dubai International Finance Centre.
How would you describe your financial journey so far?
I would say it has been a bit bumpy in the past few years, taking into consideration the equity markets situation and the financial crisis, all of which came alongside expanding my own business. It has been financially challenging. The financial crisis had an impact on so many sectors related to my job and my business, but luckily I was able to survive both.
Are you a spender or a saver?
I care about savings a lot. It makes me more comfortable in the decisions I make in my life. It's difficult not to be a spender in the UAE with all its temptations. But I do manage to balance both. Savings are for the future and offer the ability to acquire assets.
What is your philosophy regarding money?
This is simple. When I was young I thought money was the most important thing in life. Now that I'm old, I know that it is.
Did you make any financial mistakes along the way? If so, how did you recover?
I had too many businesses. I had a car trading business, a decorative item business, a computer hardware trading business and a catering business, all of which while juggling a career in financial services. Some of these investments were not studied or managed properly. I had to evaluate which of them were the most lucrative and had an edge in the market, and who were the best people running the show. In the end, I believed my partner in the [catering] business was able to take the business forward, and cut short on the bad investments as a result.
Do you believe in planning for the future?
Yes. Because the future is unknown. One has to build equities, assets, savings and it has to be built with a balance between cash and fixed assets. Things you can sell quickly, that protects you between the ups and downs between your careers.
Why is money important to you?
Money is important for two reasons. Firstly, it's a means of spending. It's how you pay rent, eat, drink, drive your car, send your kids to school. These are all basic things. Secondly, money is a measure of success.
What is your idea of financial freedom?
Anything that generates a good living to meet my standards. If one needs US$200,000 a year to live comfortably, he or she needs an investment that generates more than that so they won't have to worry about financials to be covering the costs associated with maintaining that standard of life.
What do you enjoy spending money on?
Travelling and garments. I'm a nightmare. My wife even makes fun of me. When I like a T-shirt at Lacoste or a tie at Hugo Boss, I'll ask the sales guy to give it to me in all the colours available. If I like a pair of shoes, I'll buy two pairs.
People should not sit back and dream about making money. They need to earn it. Money is a result of hard work, planning and proper execution.