Top Gunn who likes a flutter
'If I want something I can make it happen'
Love or loathe him, TV personality and producer Jason Gunn has made a good living off his own brand, writes Rebecca Stevenson
Jason Gunn was 18 and living at home when he snagged his first gig in television.
Any amount of money earned at 18 is pretty good, Gunn says. But television money was really good.
He was living at home and filling his bedroom with laser disk players, stereos and a home theatre system when his father, a Scottish accountant, decided to have a chat about money.
That led the television personality to buy the house next door in his twenties; a wise move, Gunn recalls. He has self-managed himself for the past 20 years and claims a "very healthy hourly rate".
He and his wife Janine Morrell- Gunn own studio and content producer Whitebait-TV, which produces the long-running children's show What Now.
What was your first paid work?
I used to deliver circulars in the pouring rain which I am still opposed to. I remember my mum used to say, through rain, snow or hail, the circular must get through.
I would go out in the rain and cold and get soaked through and come back and there would be $3 in my account. I'd think; what is wrong with this picture?
Looking back it wasn't the best use of my time. I couldn't do it fast enough, I never mastered it. I always had to slow down too much to get them in the letterbox. It led to a terrible point in my history when I managed to tip my circulars in the river. I was let go from that job.
In light of that, if a child asked you the best way to make money, what would you recommend?
I like the idea of paying yourself first, taking that little bit of money you might get from your favourite aunty or from your pocket money or something, and putting it away. If you take 10 or 15 per cent and put it away, you get into the habit of saving a little often and it adds up. The earlier you start the better.
My kids also love selling things on TradeMe. They're always asking, "Dad, when was the last time you used that?"
How financially savvy are you?
How financially savvy am I? I am in earshot of my wife Janine, who is bursting into laughter. If I really want something I can make it happen. If it's a business problem or I really want something like a car or a computer or a camera - these are all real examples - I am a see it, want it person, and I make it happen.
What has been your best investment decision?
It was marrying my wife, without a doubt. She has a great day-to-day understanding, where I am more of a big picture person. Janine is very good. My other investments have been in my children. As the saying goes, you invest in your children because they are picking your retirement home. Remember that.
Are you in KiwiSaver?
No. It's naughty. We certainly like living a certain lifestyle and I wonder how would we maintain that? That's why we are in business. Whitebait-TV is a huge investment and expanding and growing the business is our retirement plan.
Gambling is something of a national pastime. Do you like a flutter?
A wee flutter. At the start of the year a friend of mine got me onto the TAB app. I love it. I don't bet on the All Blacks or major sports. I like to bet on random sports or people with unusual names - not thousands of dollars, I might add.
I might put $15 on someone paying $35, some Canadian hockey team. I have done quite well out of it, but there's something about getting a letter from the TAB, oh, you haven't spent money in a while. It's like, hey you gambling addict, have a hit!
You have to be able to turn up with enough money to take a few hits, and know when to leave.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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