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Plumbing boss Charlie Mullins talks to ME & MY MONEY

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Luxury: Charlie Mullins bought a £10million penthouse in Westminster

Multi-Millionaire plumber Charlie Mullins says his principal priority is to spend all his money, having fun with one of the best things that life can offer. Mullins founded Pimlico Plumbers in 1979 and sold the corporate last 12 months for £145million. He told Donna Ferguson he didn’t even have fun with a bottle of champagne the night he signed the deal, because he was in an excessive amount of shock about it. 

He doesn’t spend money on the stock market, preferring to place his money in bricks and mortar. Earlier this 12 months, he bought a £10million penthouse in Westminster and is currently constructing himself an eight-bedroom villa by the beach in Marbella, Spain. The 70-year-old recurrently stays within the Burj Al Arab, a seven-star, £5,000-a-night hotel in Dubai, with 32-year-old fiancee, singer-songwriter Raquel Reno.

He was given an OBE in 2015 for services to the plumbing industry and has 4 children with first wife Lynda. 

What did your parents teach you about money? 

That it was hard to come back by and you will have to work for it. My mum was a cleaner and my father worked in a factory moving boxes around. Money was tight. Often, we might go in need of food. 

By the point I used to be nine, I’d work with my brothers cleansing cars, delivering milk and running errands to assist pay for food. There have been no free school meals then. I remember going to bed hungry. 

We had an outdoor toilet, no bathroom. The one source of heating was a coal fire within the front room and when the coal ran out, that was it. It was cold, especially within the mornings at 6am once I’d rise up to deliver milk. But a lot of my mates were in the identical situation. To me, it was just normal. 

Have you ever ever struggled to make ends meet? 

Yes. I left home at 16 and struggled until I finished my plumbing apprenticeship at age 19. To pay my rent, I took a job cleansing all night on Fridays and worked in a pub cellar at weekends. I didn’t do much else except work.

Have you ever ever been paid silly money? 

Not that I recall. But one of the best payday I ever had was once I sold my business for £145million. Let’s face it, I’m never going to get a greater one. It was also the largest shock I’ve ever had. 

For years, I assumed my company was price lots, but it surely felt prefer it happened literally overnight. 

Swiftly, I had £145million within the bank. I used to be in shock for a number of days afterwards. I just couldn’t consider it had happened. I celebrated, but not with a wild party. 

I used to be in Marbella with my partner, so I took her out for a meal and told her the deal had been accomplished. We didn’t even open a bottle of champagne. It was hard to take all of it in. 

What was one of the best 12 months of your financial life? 

Last 12 months. But prior to that, 2020 was my best. Trading at Pimlico Plumbers increased by between 15 and 20 per cent in the course of the pandemic. My plumbers were classed as key employees, so we were allowed to work and we were among the many few who selected to achieve this. 

I invested £100,000 in masks, gloves, thermometers and hand sanitisers – I actually went to town on it since it seemed so obvious we had to do this. We got testing kits six months before the Government got here up with the concept. And we promoted the undeniable fact that we were taking safety precautions and a customer could leave the door open and pay by bank card online – they didn’t even should see us. 

If we might had one other 100 plumbers, our turnover would probably have doubled. Ultimately, my wages in 2020 were £6million with dividends, which was essentially the most money I had ever earned in a 12 months. 

What’s the costliest thing you got for fun? 

It was a sequin blue Phantom Rolls-Royce for £450,000 in 2020. Every automotive I ever buy, I spray it that color – the color of the Pimlico Plumbers brand.

I already had a few Bentleys, but I purchased it because I believe it’s the final word automotive to purchase in case you are in business. 

It’s the identical automotive Alan Sugar and Simon Cowell have – they usually can purchase whatever they need. 

The very best money decision you will have made? 

Buying an enormous, 30,000 sq ft warehouse in Lambeth, South-West London, for £1.7million in 2000 and turning it into my headquarters. Pimlico Plumbers was too small for such a big constructing on the time, employing just 50 people, but I could see the potential. 

It allowed us to grow and increase our turnover. By the point I sold the business, we were employing 150 people and the constructing was price £10million.

Driving force: One of Charlie's Bentleys, with personalised number plate

Driving force: Certainly one of Charlie’s Bentleys, with personalised number plate

Do you save right into a pension or spend money on the stock market? 

No, I do not. I used to avoid wasting right into a pension once I was 20. But I finished once I bought my first house at 24. I realised then that for me a pension was pointless. I do not spend money on the stock market either. I do not know anything about it and I just don’t trust anybody with my money. I take heed to stockbrokers they usually go on about investment returns – and I feel it’s out of my control. 

I’ve put a few of the £145million in a trust for my 4 children and their families. Any money of my very own I even have all the time put in property. 

I even have three properties in Marbella, Spain: an apartment plus two villas that I’m knocking all the way down to construct one big, eight-bedroom beachside villa. I even have a three-bedroom penthouse apartment on the River Thames, opposite the MI6 constructing in London, which I purchased in January for £10million. 

What’s one luxury you treat yourself to? 

Travelling to Dubai and staying in a seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab, with my fiancee. It costs between £4,000 and £5,000 an evening. We probably go there five times a 12 months. At Christmas, we stay for a month.

When you were Chancellor, what’s the very first thing you’d do?

I’d create Government-funded apprenticeships and double the cash that apprentices get from employers. Their pay is simply too low. I’d also be certain that that when a teen leaves school, they go to a job, a university or a Government-funded apprenticeship. 

Do you donate money to charity? 

Yes, I donate to Shooting Star Kid’s Hospices. It does amazing work making children who’re dying more comfortable. 

What’s your primary financial priority? 

To have time. It isn’t my family because I even have already made sure they can be sorted. Now, my priority is to spend as much money as I can, having fun with one of the best things in life. I don’t need to be the richest person within the graveyard. 

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