retired athletes go broke investing
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Retired athletes go broke investing

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Securities are invisible, after all, and if you don't study them,they're unintelligible. Not to mention boring. Inventions, nightclubs, car dealerships and T-shirt companies have an advantage: the thrill of tangibility. Many players,consequently, are financial prey. The players later sued the financial-services firm UBS, which had encouraged its clients to invest in PayBy Touch, for allegedly withholding information about the company founder's criminal history and drug use.

The pitch was that when high-rainfall areas were flooded, consumers could pump up the device, allowing a sofa to float and remain dry. I wound up never seeing that guy--or any of my money--again. But innumerable other athletes have not been so lucky. Former and perhaps future NFL quarterback Michael Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last July and recently put his mansion in suburban Atlanta on the market.

But Johnson is the rare, luminous exception of tangibility gone right. In he started a chain of inner-city movie theaters and diligently built a business empire. Today Magic Johnson Enterprises includes partnerships with Starbucks, 24 HourFitness, Aetna and Best Buy, and its capital management division has invested over a billion dollars in urban communities.

According to a civil suit filed on Feb. It has since reopened with help from an anonymous investor. And former major league infielder Junior Spivey's portfolio of real estate has lately assumed the form of a sinkhole. He won't say how many properties he owns. Then there are the unnamed athletes and team personnel who pawned title rings to the online reseller championship-rings. A Giants Super Bowl ring was among them. Selling these items is always embarrassing, a last resort.

Salary aside, the closest analogue to a pro athlete is not a white-collar executive. It's a lottery winner--who's often in his early twenties. Johnson started out by admitting he knew nothing about business and seeking counsel from the power brokers who sat courtside at the old L.

Now, Johnson says, he gets calls from star players "every day"--Alex Rodriguez, Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade, Plaxico Burress--and cuts them short if they propose relying on friends and family. Well,they'll fail. Says Hunter,"They'll say, 'I got this guy, a cousin who's an accountant.

You hire him, you're doing him a favor. Strickland realized that all too late. In , when a "friend of a close friend"of the nine-year NBA vet proposed a real-estate deal in Georgia, Strickland turned to his business manager: his dad, Matthew, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. But he didn't go that extra length. The land wasn't worth anything close to what Strickland was told.

He just didn't have the knowledge. Strickland says the man secretly got a cut of the deal, and the conflict caused a permanent "falling out" between them. Relatives are not the only ones foolishly trusted with athletes' money.

One up-and-coming guard in the NBA allows his entire fortune to be managed by his former AAU coach, who has the player's power of attorney. In a meeting with Butowsky in December, the guard's dad admitted that he has no idea who the son's accountant is and said he wanted a financial "intervention. The NBA player's ignorance of his own affairs is not unique.

In this rogues' gallery Robert Allen Stanford looks almost presidential--and shows that even when athletes trust financiers of high repute, things can go disastrously wrong. Soon after his conviction Wright committed suicide in prison. In October,Atwater himself received an investment pitch from a fellow athlete.

Former quarterback Jeff Blake sent other retired players an e-mail on behalf ofTriton Financial, an investment firm in Austin, whose "athlete services" department Blake directs along with three other ex-QBs: Chris Weinke and the brothers Detmer, Ty and Koy. Says Paul Cohen,a real estate investor who owns properties in Austin, "In this economy,especially in real estate, anything you bought in the last two years is deeply underwater.

I guess what [Triton is] saying could happen. But then again, I could target the moon with my rifle and shoot, but I ain't gonna hit it. Barton also conceded that Triton was "not supposed to publish specific numbers about past performance"without significant disclaimers, including a disclosure of what the company had invested in. On a much smaller scale, Torii Hunter and Astros pitcher LaTroy Hawkins recall the story of a former major leaguer from the Dominican Republic whose adviser took care of all his financial matters.

One day the player's mail came to the clubhouse andHunter playfully asked to see it. He'd been with and trusted this guy [for almost 18 years]! Advisers warn that such overcharging is the most common form of financial bloodletting for athletes. A few years ago, Butowsky recalls, he met with a former high-round NFL pick whose adviser, also a former player, said that he couldn't reveal how much he was charging to manage the athlete's tax-exempt municipal bonds "because of the Patriot Act.

In , whenPanthers owner Jerry Richardson--a former NFL flanker turned businessman--addressed his players, one of them asked, What's the most dangerous thing that could happen to us financially? Richardson said, 'Divorce. Players today would not disagree. In divorce proceedings, of course, husbands routinely lose half of their net worth. But for athletes there is an aggravating factor: when the divorce happens.

Most splits occur in retirement, when the player's peak earnings period is long over and making a comparable living is virtually impossible. Such timing is no accident. Before, you'd always say, 'I gotta go to practice. You have to finish conversations.

Which often involve an incendiary subject: infidelity. Given all the pressures on a pro athlete's marriage, one safety valve might be the prenuptial agreement--something "very strongly" recommended by agent David Falk,who surged to prominence representing Michael Jordan who did not have one. In , when NBA center Dikembe Mutombo was engaged to Michelle Roberts, a med student, Roberts refused to sign a premarital contract the day before the wedding.

Five hundred guests--including a large party from Mutombo's native Democratic Republic of Congo--had begun flying in to Washington. It's no coincidence that the woman a pro athlete often chooses to marry--and often at a young age--is his hometown sweetheart. For that reason he can't envision a ruinous divorce. But when a player does make it? Children almost always complicate the issue.

How to limit paternity obligations is a challenge for pro athletes. Former NBA forward Shawn Kemp who has at least seven children by six women and, more recently, Travis Henry nine by nine have seen their fortunes sapped by monthly child-support payments in the tens of thousands of dollars. An aversion to family planning goes hand in hand with neglect of other forms of financial foresight, which can affect what happens to athletes' fortunes even after they die.

Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas, who died at 33 following a January car crash, had ignored the urging of his financial adviser to make a will,and his entire estate was left for the court to divide, touching off a legal battle among the five mothers of his seven children. The thorniest question for a pro athlete, however, isn't how he handles himself and those closest to him.

Often players don't know how to say no. It's all part of that ossified notion of how a pro athlete should live and provide for those around him. If he isn't consuming conspicuously, then he hasn't made it. Now I try to preach to young guys in the clubhouse who are like that.

I've got all this stuff from 10 years ago--jewelry, rims--that I think, Why the f did I even buy this? Two years ago Rockets forward Ron Artest had a similar change of heart. This entourage's "level of helpfulness," said Artest's publicist, Heidi Buech, "was 50 percent. As soon as an athlete goes pro, people in search of handouts tend to stretch the definitions of family and friends.

When Hunter went to his hometown of Pine Bluff, Ark. James Baptist Church packed, the line of cars outside stretching for blocks. That included the IRS, along with dozens of lawyers, doctors, and accountants. To make matters worse, Tyson also had to deal with the fallout of promoters ripping him off during his career.

Remarkably, Tyson turned his life around. Diego Maradona is considered one of the greatest soccer players ever. During his career, he played in four World Cups, which his team won in As a professional soccer player, Maradona earned a lot of money. Unfortunately, Maradona allegedly failed to pay taxes for all that money earned. Financially, this crushed Maradona, causing him to file for bankruptcy.

In fact, Maradona once received a month suspension from the Italian League. That was his punishment for testing positive for cocaine. Three weeks after that suspension, Maradona was arrested for cocaine possession. Through it all, Maradona consistently denied that he had a drug problem.

Lenny Dykstra is a former New York Mets baseball player. At the start of his retirement, Dykstra lived a comfortable, modest life. In a nutshell, Lenny Dykstra was cautious with his money. Dykstra sold his successful car wash chain. He used a large portion of that money to start an exclusive magazine: The Players Club, which sought to give financial advice to wealthy professional athletes.

He had nice cars, but he had to have a Maybach. He flew first class, but he wanted his own private jet. He purchased that property in Two years later, Lenny Dykstra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In , Dykstra was indicted for bankruptcy fraud. Federal investigators alleged that Dykstra had sold many of his valuable items instead of using them to repay his creditors.

In , Dykstra took a plea deal on those bankruptcy fraud charges. That same year, he was sentenced to three years in prison for grand theft auto. Dykstra was released from prison in He had served six and half months. Many people know OJ Simpson from his infamous murder case. In fact, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in After retiring, Simpson headed to Hollywood to start his acting career.

At the time, the public loved him. Cameras filled the courtroom, recording details for the public to consume. The media was there every step of the way. Two years later, a civil jury handed Simpson a guilty verdict. They stated that Simpson was liable for the murders of his ex-wife and alleged lover. Eleven years later, Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for trying to rob a Las Vegas hotel and casino. What was he trying to steal?

According to Simpson, his own sports memorabilia. Simpson ended up serving nine years. Nowadays, Simpson is active on Twitter and the golf course. In the long list of famous athletes who went broke, there are a few common themes. Their stories provide clues to how they ended up in their predicament.

One of the worst mistakes you can make is trusting financial crooks with your money. Sadly, too many have been taken advantage of by swindlers. Many professional athletes start their careers without proper financial education.

Professional athletes receive hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes millions, all at once. Financial fraudsters are fully aware of that fact. They manipulate young athletes, finding slick ways to take their money.

Financial manipulation happens to veteran athletes as well. Others straight-up steal. Some do both. How could they be fooled so easily? Many of these slick advisors are smooth talkers. They have a gift of gab, a gift for deceit.

Often, these shady advisers recommend phony investments to their clients. The type of investments that only they profit from. Some athletes hire family and friends as financial advisors or business partners. Often, people without any financial background or business expertise. That can be a huge mistake. While family and friends might have your best interest at heart, professional advice is essential when it comes to any major financial decision. That means they are likely to make plenty of mistakes with your money.

Even if they have the best intentions in the world. That's why athletes should always do some background research to find an experienced financial team. They need custom advice that considers the big picture, including tax planning, investment strategy, and estate planning -- not someone focused on selling investment products.

After you hire any advisor, make sure you keep an eye on your finances. Always ask questions. Make sure your advisors keep you informed. For an athlete, household troubles can crush their bank account. One of the biggest is a messy divorce. And when the athletes get divorced, their spouse usually gets half of all their earnings. Prenuptial agreements can protect athletes from that fate. That's why David Falk , Michael Jordan's former agent, instructs his clients to sign them before getting married.

Often, the divorce happens after the player has already retired. At this point, players have less opportunity to rebuild their net worth post-divorce. Child-support payments are another. Some athletes have to pay tens of thousands of dollars, each month, towards child support.

In fact, some athletes have to pay divorce settlements, alimony, and child support. John F. In many cases, the people who surround athletes swear by this quote. Especially when it suits their own interests. When professional athletes get rich, the people around them tend to expect a piece of the action. That way, you can avoid becoming an athlete who went broke trying to make everyone else happy. Some athletes operate from the expectation that they must live in luxury to be seen as successful.

They drive fancy cars and splurge on mansions. The problem is that some of these athletes are living beyond their means. They take out huge mortgages and car leases, racking up their monthly expenses. Some athletes pay high mortgages for family members and friends in addition to their own. Athletes who find a balance between enjoying success and saving for the inevitable end of their playing careers can be set for life. When some athletes get a taste of luxury, it becomes an addiction.

They want more and more. So, they buy a bigger mansion. So, they buy a new car. Sometimes more than one. They might develop a taste for expensive outfits, giving expensive gifts, and taking people on expensive holidays. Reckless spending on items that depreciate can eat away at a fortune pretty quickly. But again, every career has an end date.

Players who create a balance between spending and planning for the future avoid washing away their fortunes. Not only does greed cause excessive spending, but it also puts athletes at risk of making bad investments. Lured by the promise of a big return, this was a fatal mistake made by many broke athletes. They put all of their money into a single high-risk business or fraudulent investment scheme instead of a sound, long-term investment strategy.

When rookies get into the league, they notice how veteran players live in luxury. They see the vets driving expensive cars and living in beautiful homes. They are using future money to pay for current expenses. They behave as if their third contract is guaranteed. Some rookies never get a second contract. They end up having to sell homes and cars far below the price they paid, just to cover their debts. Next thing you know, they become another athlete who went broke.

Making matters worse, they have no viable source of income. The average athlete is young and inexperienced when it comes to money. That being the case, you have to educate yourself. Do even more research and ask the right questions before trusting anyone to handle your money or make investments on your behalf. Some athletes have a one-track mind: maximizing their athletic talent.

That mindset can help you on the battlefield. But it can be disastrous for your finances. Louis Delmas, drafted by the Detroit Lions in , lost money to a crooked financial advisor. Players who only focus on their craft make themselves vulnerable to financial crooks. You should always track your finances.

The Washington Post.

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Retired athletes go broke investing Athletes can also reduce overall tax liability if their financial team includes a qualified CPA. Sponsored Links by Zergnet. Teaser Bet In sports betting, a teaser bet is a type of parlay bet in which the bettor is allowed to change the point spread for a game. They might develop a taste for expensive outfits, giving expensive gifts, and taking people on expensive holidays. But in he was relying on help from his church friends to pay his bills and even afford food, the Deseret News reported. Such goodwill is easy to earn: The bar for radically improving the financial habits of pro athletes, Butowsky acknowledges, is low enough for a toddler to trip over. Often, these shady advisers recommend phony investments to their clients.
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Don't gamble everything Several bankrupt athletes have a hobby in common: Hitting the tables. Stars from John Daly to Antoine Walker have hit serious financial trouble because of their gambling habits. While it's true that not everyone loses in Vegas Floyd Mayweather seems to have good luck , most financial advisors would agree that gambling is one of the riskiest ways to "invest" your money. Not all gambling is done in the casino, of course.

There are plenty of risky investments that cross a investor's path everyday; sometimes they pay off The lesson here is to actively manage your risk, and understand exactly how much risk you can afford to undertake.

Smart investors approach risk deliberately, and balance their riskier investments with more conservative vehicles. Pairing a purchase of a high-risk stock with an investment in a low-risk bond? A much safer idea than putting it all on red. Diversify Let's play a game. We'll list three professional athletes who declared bankruptcy, and see if you can spot what they have in common. Dorothy Hamill -- declared bankruptcy after investing heavily in an Arizona skating rink. Did you notice that all three had only one investment vehicle listed after their name?

Yes, if you guessed that a lack of diversification failed them financially, you'd be correct. What these athletes didn't do was hedge their bets by spreading their wealth. Investing in something you are passionate about and believe in can pay off, but not if you put all of your eggs in one basket. Because if you drop that basket, that's right, you end up with nothing but broken eggs.

As non-professional athletes who may not have the discretionary income to fund multiple fast-food chains, we can still learn from these mistakes. The more ways we choose to save and invest our money, the less risk we have in building future wealth. Don't let your k become Curt Schilling's 38 Studios. Be lawful This should be an easy one. Don't break the law. Too many professional athletes have squandered their millions in completely avoidable, unlawful ways. We can all start by avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Take it from Lawrence Taylor. Aside from the obvious health consequences, they also cost a lot of money. And don't forget that abusing them can get you fired. Basically a horrible idea all around. Also, let's make sure we all pay our taxes, OK? This seems to be a problem for the super rich, and it has caused serious financial problems for athletes like Marion Jones. In fact, tax evasion has become such an epidemic among soccer stars in Europe that countries like the U.

Even their biggest stars, like Lionel Messi , have had to face the music and fight tax battles in court. Financially, they'd all be better off avoiding the legal fees and paying the taxes up front. Speaking of legal fees, have you heard that they are consistently enormous? Whether from failing to pay child support, defaulting on debt , or [enter any other type of legal case here], ending up in court can cost you a pretty penny.

Just ask Michael Vick , who owes enough in legal fees to negate an incredibly large portion of his future earnings. The lesson here is that the lawful citizen can avoid a lot of unnecessary expenses. Hopefully this will be one of the simpler rules to follow.

Spend within your means This, ladies and gentlemen, is the big one. If you spend less than you have, you'll always be rich. Easier said than done, right? If you've ever felt the temptation to spend money you don't have, imagine how that temptation must feel for someone making times your salary. With millions, sometimes hundreds of millions, of dollars coming in, it would certainly be easy to feel invincible with money. And so it is with many athletes, who overspend despite their large paychecks.

Allen Iverson , for example, "was known to travel with a 50 person entourage, blew millions of dollars gambling, lavished friends with expensive gifts and had massive monthly child support obligations. While the statistics are not in dispute, the reasons why so many athletes face financial problems are. Often it boils down to the dumb jock stereotype — these guys are superstars on the field but completely clueless off. Sure, that may explain some of the athletes that have gone broke, but this is not a valid or useful explanation of why so many professional athletes end up broke.

In fact, NFL players score above average on intelligence measures. In my work managing the finances of sudden wealth recipients and advising professional athletes. Trust issues. Think Goldilocks. Too much or too little can be a problem. On the other hand, more than a few professional athletes have been duped, taken advantage of, or downright defrauded because they blindly trusted a smooth talking suit. Liz Davidson, CEO of Financial Finesse and the company supporting the helpline says, This program gives players a strong base to build upon, and that with the continued growth of their financial education initiatives, players will continue to progress financially.

Wired differently. Physically they are quite different from you and me. But psychologically they may be different as well. Research found significant differences between athletes and non-athletes across personality characteristics such as inhibition, emotionality, and aggressiveness. Good characteristics on the field, but not necessarily optimum for making financial decisions.

Today focus. Research published in the Journal of Judgment and Decision Making shows professional athletes are more present focused rather than future focused as compared to non-athletes. In other words, there is much greater emphasis placed on today than there is on tomorrow.

Familial pressure. The star we see on the field is often the proverbial tip of the iceberg. For some athletes, they feel a sense of duty to buy houses and cars or invest in the business ideas of those who helped them get to where they are. They may do this to the extreme in order to assuage the idea that money has changed them.

Ego bleed. Because in this case, these athletes are truly the very best in the world at what they do. Need excitement. Investing and finance is fast-paced and exciting with high emotions and drama. In the real world, financial planning is slow and methodical.

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Any guesses? The average career in any professional sport comes to an end at age Retirement is accepting the fact that you will begin breaking personal finance rule 1: your lifestyle exceeds your income. The thought of that unsustainable cash flow should be a reminder to plan with the end in mind. Your ability to adapt to a routine, to block out all distractions future and past, has contributed to your success. However, such a mindset can also have an adverse impact on your finances.

Your time horizon never gets past next season. Athletes must begin to see money like training. Moreover, fans should recognize and revere those athletes who lead fulfilling lives off the field, not just the ones who stack up wins on it. Your introduction to money comes as a member of the 1 percent, with no knowledge or appreciation of what that means. No parent waits for their child to be holding matches before teaching them about fire safety.

Put simply, this problem is not limited to athletes. You experience a similar financial windfall as those who win the lottery, but even they have a deferred compensation option. The lack of financial flexibility falls under the NFL umbrella. Athletes do not enjoy the same luxury, and will continue to pay the highest bracket of income tax possible. Protecting five years of that number grants you freedom from depending on the next contract. How long have you been identified as a jock?

Just imagine a doctor, after years of medical school, residency, and an active practice, being told they were no longer a doctor. All at once, you lose your focus, your confidence, and your purpose. The harsh reality is that the fans will forget, the team will move on, and even teammates will fall out of touch. It begins to feel like the only nostalgic action you have of the old life is spending like you are still in it. The other four hurdles will impact this one. Not having a plan, not changing your perception of life, not gaining an education, and not taking advantage of the options you have will all make this hurdle more daunting.

Ego bleed. Because in this case, these athletes are truly the very best in the world at what they do. Need excitement. Investing and finance is fast-paced and exciting with high emotions and drama. In the real world, financial planning is slow and methodical. But some athletes want and expect the drama.

Two worlds. As foreign as it would feel for you to enter their world, it is often just as alien for the athlete to discuss asset allocations, family limited partnerships, and the alternative minimum tax. According to former professional baseball player Bobby Grich. Players are not trained in wealth management and that world can be totally intimidating as I know from firsthand experience.

Athletes suffer financially for many reasons, but the dumb jock explanation is not one of them. Professional athletes are intelligent and talented in ways the rest of us cannot fathom. Davidson agrees, noting that The game requires a high level of discipline, focus and intelligence — all traits that can be parlayed into smart money management. Sometimes all it takes is recognizing and overcoming some of these barriers, entering their world, and providing a little guidance.

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How to avoid going broke as a young athlete

Young athletes who are drafted onto a pro team are suddenly wealthy at a very young age. (16% of retired NFL players go bankruptcy, A Sports Illustrated article reports that 78% of NFL players and 60% of NBA players face serious. Despite lucrative playing careers, they often end up with no money and no retirement plan, wondering what went wrong. So, why do so many.