Super Bowl Sunday: Why Winners on the Field Often Lose Financially

Most former NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress within two years of retirement. So why aren’t more athletes using financial advisors? A former Pittsburgh Steeler says ego and fear are often to blame, but there are ways for players and advisors to make a winning connection.

Willie Williams, former NFL player with the Pittsburg Steelers, believes that young athletes are just not used to handling that much money.  In addition, their public profiles make them vulnerable to financial predators.  As a result, according to Sports Illustrated,

“By the time they have retired for 2 years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial distress because of joblessness or divorce.  Within 5 years of retirement an estimated 60% of former NBA players are broke.”

Beyond falling prey to financial predators, professional sports figures, like lottery winners, are vulnerable to their own preferences and biases, dismissing conservative investment strategies like mutual funds in favor of high risk, high failure investments like opening a restaurant, believing that their fame will translate into success.   Some do, many don’t.

 

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