3 Money Lessons From Pro Athletes Who Went Broke

Don’t just cheer from the sidelines. Study from superstars who made big mistakes and that means you finish prior to the game.

Greater than a decade ago, I was drinking in a fresh Jersey bar with a reasonably well-known Major League Baseball player. The bar is named the Stone Pony, and it’s an area legend in its Asbury Park neighborhood. Maybe that’s why the star athlete made a decision to buy it — immediately.

This is, of course, an awful idea. I’ve written before about the proper and wrong way to get property, and there’s really no worse way to get a bar than while drinking using one of its barstools.

Having known many pro athletes through the years, I said nothing. I merely gave him a noticeable look of disapproval and hoped he’d change his mind after the alcohol wore off.

Even though many professional athletes have sought my financial advice, days gone by 2 decades have taught me no-one wants unsolicited advice, especially about money.

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Fortunately, this ballplayer called his agent along with his beer-soaked plans — and the agent quickly end the crazy idea. That’s rare alone. Agents generally do the bidding of the athletes who pay their commissions, even though it isn’t necessarily in a client’s best interest.

In cases like this, the agent stood up for himself and for his client. The ballplayer backed down and was spared from a pricey education in how exactly to lose cash. Sadly, it doesn’t often workout that way. Stories of bankrupt pro athletes are as common as pop flies.

Listed below are three mistakes I’ve seen pro athletes repeat through the years.

Athletes know their earning potential is brief. Aside from rare circumstances, they play knowing they’ll be washed up within their 30s. And even younger players realize they’re one injury from losing from millions.

The very best athletes I’ve known reside in as soon as but save for future years. The worst ones spend almost all their money when they obtain it (rather than always on what I’d call essentials).

So while Mike Tyson once famously bought a Bengal tiger for $140,000, Serena Williams simply deposited her first $1 million check in the lender. Actually, she naively tried depositing it through the drive-in window, “and these were like, ‘I think you will need to come in because of this,’ therefore i finished up going inside."

Tyson went bankrupt. Williams will probably be worth a lot more than $80 million.

The lesson for ordinary people: There is nothing more deadly than entrepreneurs who finally hit it big. They resemble athletes who sign huge contracts and feel just like they’ve made it. Rather than remembering where they originated from, they reward themselves with frivolities and expect the amount of money train to never elope track.

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Back June, Sports Illustrated reported on former NFL running back Clinton Portis. Nowadays, it’s seldom very good news whenever a former athlete makes headlines. Here was the hook on Portis’ story: “From the NFL spotlight, financial ruin drove Clinton Portis to the brink of murder.”

Portis admitted he considered killing a former manager — he actually had a gun — who had lost a lot of the $43 million Portis made during his career. Portis filed for bankruptcy in 2015.

How does this happen? Athletes are busy people, and they’re often celebrities with a little circle of friends. They trust, however they seldom verify. Some put unqualified friends in money-management roles. Others are lured by slick agents and managers who are better at sucking up to stars than they are in making investments.

The lesson for ordinary people: I’ve seen entrepreneurs whose growth outstrips their team’s capability to manage new complexities when their businesses suddenly remove. Similar to the athletes on the field, they’re busy doing the profitable work. They don’t really check what’s happening behind the scenes.

Every entrepreneur needs at least one knowledgeable but unofficial adviser. Many athletes come if you ask me on referral. If they research my reputation, they see I’ve covered this territory before and can provide them with the bad news if they have to hear it. I’ve individuals who fill that critical role for me personally, too.

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Athletes are trained to leave everything on the field, court, course or ice. They take big risks to win big. They carry that confidence into the areas of life, too. Because they believe themselves invulnerable, they sometimes spend money on ventures they know nothing about. Think about all of the athletes who’ve opened (and later closed) restaurants.

Had that ballplayer at the Stone Pony bought the area, I’ve without doubt the legendary bar could have struggled. Maybe it wouldn’t have survived. That MLB star still was playing 162 games a year. And turning day-to-day management to an inexperienced relative or a pal probably wouldn’t have finished up any better.

The lesson for ordinary people: Entrepreneurs know — or they learn fast — that the road to success isn’t designed for walking. It’s designed for sprinting. Those that fall need to get back up and continue.

Personal money has to be marshaled differently. Entrepreneurs have to amass a big chunk of wealth to depend on when their building days are over. Smart companies know they can not play forever and that no-one is invincible. The marketplace could be a hard place, with the capacity of driving the best folks to your knees in a fresh York minute.

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