My money

The value of bricks and mortar

Angélique Sabron is passionate about property. Photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Angélique Sabron is passionate about property. Photo: Romain Gamba / Maison Moderne

Angélique Sabron, managing director of JLL Luxembourg, a real estate brokerage and consultancy, invests in bricks and mortar, and ensures the financial education of her three daughters.

Do you have a motto about money?

Angélique Sabron: You don't get something for nothing. Everything my husband and I have built is something we did entirely by ourselves, through our work, our savings, our choices.

An example of the fruits of your labour?

We have ‘une brique dans le ventre’ [editor’s note: ‘a brick in the belly’, a Belgian expression meaning someone who is passionate about property and absolutely needs to own their own home] and we have built up a small portfolio of holdings, which we renovate a lot ourselves. At weekends, instead of having fun, we go and do the work because we like it and because we know what we are putting into it. The portfolio that we have built up has really come out of our heart and soul. And I find that this gives us an additional value, which is different from a financial value.

Are you a saver or a spendthrift?

I'm half saver and half spendthrift, with one small caveat: I always have the ulterior motive that what I spend must remain a form of investment, whatever it may be. I was brought up in a family where money was a real issue at the end of every month, and that leaves its mark. I don't go into a shop to buy everything: there has to be a need behind it and it often has to remain a good deal.

Do you have any expensive passions?

Not at all. I love DIY and gardening. I don't collect anything, I have my company car and my husband gave me an original Fiat 500 for my 40th birthday. I don't have the time, and that's simply because for me everything in life has to be profitable.

Are there any purchases you regret?

Yes. Four years ago, on a trip to Venice, we visited the Murano glass factory. At the end, we arrived at the shop and left with a chandelier that I had no use for and that I thought was very expensive.

But the kind guide, who had us pegged right, told us it would increase in value and that it was a legacy for our daughters. Every time I clean it or look up at my house, I cringe because I think that chandelier is going to have to last 100 years before I can consider it a good deal [laughs].

What kind of purchase would you spend your money on?

A purchase that would make me something. The only thing I think I'm good at is real estate. It's the only thing I feel like I'm willing to put money into, so that it would increase in value and be transferable to my children.

A dream that could come true if you win the lottery?

A beautiful second home, right on the water, ideally with sunshine.

Do you try to instil certain principles about money in your three daughters?

Yes, it's a meritocracy, they have a healthy relationship with money. Their job is to have a good diploma and to learn to be resourceful in life, and we thank them when they do something good with a gift, it's also to please themselves. They don't lack anything. I think this helps them to become responsible adults who are comfortable with themselves.

Are there any causes that are close to your heart?

Yes, every month I support five different foundations: les Paralysés de France, Action contre la Faim, Toutes à l’école, les Petits Frères des Pauvres and 30 Millions d’Amis. For me, there is no suffering that is more valuable than another. I also teach my daughters to share money, I have already helped some of their friends, like this kid who couldn't go to work without a car. I bought him a small one. In general, I'm happy to give to someone who really needs it.

Originally published in French by Paperjam and translated for Delano