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Shay O’Brien, Glint investor and Glint card user

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Glint sat down with Shay O’Brien…

There is one obvious question to put to Shay O’Brien – why did he decide to get a Glint card and, moreover, to use it? He says that he has “a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and I like to keep 10% of the portfolio in gold. The idea behind the 10% in gold is that if there is a stock market crash – which happens every five, ten, twelve years or so – then if I need to use some cash, and normally in that scenario that is a need, then I can sell my gold rather than my stocks. In a stock market crash then typically gold will be higher, and you don’t mind selling something when it’s higher. You don’t want to have to sell something when it’s down 20% or 25%. It’s all about timing. So that’s why I like gold.”

O’Brien talks of his gold as providing “an insurance policy. I definitely prefer gold over cash over the long-term. I loved the idea [of Glint] when I heard about it, so I got the card, and I’ve been spending gold ever since.” O’Brien put a sizeable chunk of money on his card and transferred it into gold. In the 12 months he has held his card he says of his gold holding on the Glint card that “I’ve just not been able to get through it. I’ve been travelling round Europe, to America and so on, and I just kept spending it and using it, and it just keeps on going up [in gold terms]. Obviously it’s easy enough to work out why that is, because gold’s on a rally. I keep looking at the card’s gold holdings – I’m buying dinners, shopping and so on and, because gold has been going up, I just can’t spend it.”

But it’s not just the Glint card’s usefulness as a means of spending his gold that O’Brien enjoys – he also likes the fact that it is a convenient way of calculating and using other currencies. “I don’t always necessarily spend gold – sometimes I spend local currency. I can switch between local currencies at a very favourable exchange rate, and that’s very important to me as well.”

When his gold eventually runs out on his Glint card he intends to top it up again. Is he bothered about a possible fall in the price of gold? Not at all: “I just try to buy it forward. I am more of an ‘averager’ – for me it’s more of a case of ‘middling into it’ really. I don’t believe I am equipped or focused enough to be able to pick the right point, whereas if I average, I know I am going to do OK. That’s really my strategy. The global gold story – that works for me. I intentionally don’t keep any gold price, or stocks and shares, or Bitcoin prices, apps on my phone because it gets very addictive and it’s not good for the brain. You are better buying it, averaging it, and forgetting about it – then it’s there and you’ll do OK long-term. Everything looks so volatile right now but gold is much more stable.”

So how does Glint stack up against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as far as O’Brien is concerned? He tells me that “I’ve been playing around with Bitcoin for a while. Bitcoin is fun: gold is value – that’s how I see it. Bitcoin is a bit of fun, is without expectations, whereas my gold, that’s my money. It can go down, I realise that, but over the long-term my gold is my security.”

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