Colleges That Produce The Greatest Numbers Of Professional Football Players Risk Management for Professional Athletes

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Risk Management for Professional Athletes

Recently, there have been many articles on professional athletes who have lost millions of dollars due to poor financial decisions. Players range from golfers to boxers to professional baseball players, and their poor judgment ranges from buying cars, women, and tigers to battling gambling addictions and making bad business investments. There are also people who have been cheated on by their agents, their accountants or their ex-wives. Most of these problems are due to lack of education and some are due to lack of maturity. Regardless, these issues have opened doors for entrepreneurs in the business of finance and risk management.

A shocking statistic states that 78% of NFL players enter bankruptcy or financial crisis within two years of retirement and 60% of NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. These players know they have a lot of money and don’t think about what will happen when they stop receiving the multi-million dollar checks. Many of them do not understand business and/or finance. Some of them may not have taken a single class in college. Some professional athletes don’t have time to focus on their finances. Having to produce on the field doesn’t leave much time to focus on off-field issues like investing or retirement planning. Raghib “Rocket” Ismail, a former professional football player who signed an $18.5 million salary over four years in 1991, once said, “I met with JP Morgan once and it was literally like listening to Charlie Brown’s teacher.” It’s not that he’s not an intelligent person, but many professional athletes leave themselves out in the rain when they run out of money without paying attention to the details.

Not all of the broke players lost their money because of their extravagant lifestyles. Some have tried to invest and plan for their future but didn’t have people they could trust to manage their money, or tried to manage it themselves but didn’t have the time or knowledge to do it right. Some of them have invested in high risk businesses that have flopped and some have invested in businesses that have no chance at all. A player once invested in an invention that had an inflatable raft attached to the bottom of a bed so that people living in high rainfall areas could pump up the raft and float to their bed when their area flooded. If this player had someone in the financial/risk management business that he could trust and was reputable, he wouldn’t have lost his money on such a stupid investment.

The financial/risk management firms that players should use are those that have a good reputation with all of their clients, not the accountants at Uncle Joe’s at the local strip mall. These companies should try to educate their customers about what they don’t understand through counseling sessions and possibly financial management and personal finance workshops. If they are trying to keep the athlete in the dark, they are probably trying to overcome them in some way. Not every investment has to be a “home run”. These companies should try to keep players at risk within reason.

Financial/risk management is the key to everyone’s financial stability no matter how much money they make. If every investment a person makes is high-risk and high-reward, they might as well go to a casino because all they’re doing is gambling. While it is unfortunate that so many players are facing this problem, it is opening doors for those entrepreneurs in the risk management business. Athletes should understand that sports are also businesses and should see themselves as independent contractors who have to run and manage their businesses.

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