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A Financial Pep Talk for Professional Athletes

An NFL player with 15 years in the league once told me: “The day I stop making football as my number one career focus is the day I am no longer playing football. This business is ultra-competitive, so I have to work harder than everyone else.” No truer words were ever spoken.

In our “Financial Pep Talk” series, we share financial wisdom with a specific demographic group of people whom we have helped over the years. From our vast experience working with professional athletes as clients, we thought you might like to know five important points that we routinely share with them.

1. Focus on your playing opportunity. First, it is important to zero in on your present-day playing opportunity, not your post-career. Second, continue to learn and remain well rounded in each off-season and set goals and meet them. The antidote to stagnation is innovation.

2. Save and pay cash for your cars and houses. Be moderate with your purchases, grow into your next one, and don’t leverage for the next one! 

3. Trust the professionals. Engage experienced professionals who you trust. The relationships you have with your contract advisor and financial advisor are very important to your future.

4. Don’t be enticed by hype. Try to remember that your biggest asset is your income and the opportunity you have to make a large amount of money from your athletic ability. Also, invest conservatively. When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

5. Build a “popcorn” portfolio. Buy and hold. Keep buying a diversified portfolio of investments and treat your investments as a popcorn maker. Keep adding kernels and wait. Then, over time, let them pop. Build your income stream through dividends and interest. You can do this because time is your ally.

We have a dynamic team at The Simon Group in Hefren-Tillotson’s Wexford office. Along with Associate Advisor Kris Rodgers, and partners, Brad Dishart. Fred Clerici, John Mackie and Ryan Larkin, we specialize in financial planning and money management for entrepreneurs, business executives, retirees and professional athletes. 

If we can assist you in your planning toward a secure future, contact us as 412-633-1620 or online at

DISCLAIMER: Past performance does not predict future results. This report is based on data obtained from sources we believe to be reliable. Hefren-Tillotson does not, nor any other party, guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report or make any warranties regarding results obtained from its usage. All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the firms judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. This report is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities herein mentioned.

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