If you make it to the NFL, you don’t wanna join the Broke Pro Athletes fraternity, do you?
Of course, you don’t….annnnnd of course that fraternity doesn’t really exist, but you catch my drift.
Been There, Done That…
Who better to learn from, than someone who’s not only been there and done that, but someone who’s actually working to help keep future pro athletes from joining the ranks of pro athletes that have gone broke?
While checking out Former Player Prepares Athletes for Success in Franchising Post-Retirement on BlackEnterprise.com, it dawned on me just how much the information in it can help future pro athletes from a money perspective.
The article is an interview with Anthony Simmons, a former NFL and CFL player who has created Pro Athlete Business Group, an organization all about helping pro ballers make smart investments.
Below are some of the big lessons I think can be drawn from the interview.
Note: For the record, I don’t personally back Mr. Simmons’ claims nor his company.
Make Sure Your Financial Advisors are Credible
Before you do any investing as a pro player, please make sure the source is credible, and is a certified Financial Advisor with the NFL.
Lesson #1 – Invest Early – It Could Be Over “Any Given Sunday”
Nothing in the NFL is guaranteed, my friend, especially the contracts.
You can get cut at any time, and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever make that kind of money again in your life.
So if you’re smart, you’d invest wisely as soon as possible, so that the NFL money can set you up for the next stage of your life.
In my opinion, that’s the lesson you can draw from the below question and answer between Brandon Peters from Black Enterprise and Anthony Simmons:
Q: What was it specifically that made you start this conference with an emphasis on franchising?
A: My first year in the league, coming from a not so well environment in Oakland, CA. I’m the youngest of nine kids and once you get that money and you’re coming out of college, its like, “Wow, I can spend all this and I’m going to get it again next year.” I was thinking I was going to play forever.
He also said the quote below that eludes to the same message, in my opinion:
“…if you come into the league and make $375,000 a year, take $25,000 of that and invest it into something. Whether it’s short term or long term. That’s what you should do. Now, the next year, if you make the team, take
another $50,000, take $100,000 and invest it.”
Lesson #2 – You’re NOT Gonna Play Forever
Did you catch the last part of his quote, where he said “I thought I was going to play forever?”
You’d be best served to take heed to the dillusion in that statement now, before you get to the league.
Truth is, you WON’T play forever.
In fact, you’re lucky if your career lasts five years.
Lesson #3 – Don’t Go Buying a Bunch of Stuff at the Beginning of Your Career
Great lesson to be learned here. Check out this quote from Anthony:
Those who are making the league minimum of $375,000; they take home $260,000 (after taxes) and they still want to buy a house or a car and once they do that they’re literally broke. They don’t have any more money and they base [their financial decisions] on the next year that they’re going to go and play. Well, what if you don’t make it next year? What if you get hurt? What if the team just doesn’t want you anymore? Then you’re stuck; so how are you going to pay for the stuff you got? That’s why the ratio is 82% of professional football players go broke two years after they retire. They tell you when you come into the league that 60% of you guys are going to end up broke, divorced or homeless.
Wow. I know that quote was long, but it was so powerful.
One of the biggest lessons in life that I’ve learned this far, is to never, EVER, think that “it can’t happen to me.”
You’re not the first smart guy to potentially play pro football.
Lose the ego, and learn from the mistakes of those before you, whenever you can.
Here’s a promo video from one of the Pro Athletes Business Group events:
That’s it for part one. Click here for part two.
What do you think are the big reasons why so many NFL players end up broke?
Leave a comment below!
Catch me on Twitter! @alvingrier
Former Player Prepares Athletes for Success in Franchising Post-Retirement (via Blackenterprise.com)
Financial Advisor FAQ’s (nflplayers.com)
NFL Players Base Salaries Rarely Guaranteed (via denverpost.com)