HINES' WORLD IS A NEW SEGMENT CHRONICLING THE LIFE OF PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER, KYLE HINES. HINES DISCUSSES HIS LIFE BOTH ON AND OFF THE COURT AS WELL AS THE FINANCIAL TIDBITS HE'S LEARNED ALONG THE WAY. BELOW IS A CONTINUATION OF HIS FIRST ENTRY
A) Financial Advisors and Business Managers
After my first season of reckless spending, I decided to hire a financial advisor to help me get control of my finances. Initially, I was nervous because I have read several stories about financial advisors and business managers who have taken advantage of their clients, putting them in risky investments, causing clients to lose a significant amount of money. Young athletes are usually an easy target for these types of advisors because they can take advantage and manipulate. When looking to hire a financial advisor or business manager, these are factors to be on the lookout for:
Make sure your advisor has the proper registration and is a credible investment specialist
All too often, athletes get caught in scams or fraud attempts by an advisor who is not carefully vetted by their clients
Hire an advisor with experience working with other athletes in the same sport as you
Get recommendations from veteran teammates or agents. Athletes tend to get in trouble when hiring inexperienced advisors or family friends with no experience to handle their finances because they do not have an understanding of investing or the financial demands that come with certain professional careers
Never give an advisor complete control of your accounts, and never sign a power of attorney (POA); limit the amount of access your advisor has over your accounts
Never let your advisor pay your bills or buy/sell investments without your permission. Power of Attorney is one of the most significant ways an advisor can take advantage of you, and your money can disappear without any of your knowledge.
B) Invest in Yourself
Being a professional athlete takes hard work and dedication. As I mentioned before, we spend a lot of time devoted to our sport, but as a professional athlete, a huge benefit is the amount of free time we have between games or practices. Rather than play video games or watch television during that free time, I decided to devote at least an hour or two, every day, to becoming financially literate. I developed this practice in an effort to gain a better understanding of investing, leading me to financial success. I started to read books on finances and business investments, on a daily basis, as well listening to podcasts. I highly recommend other athletes do this as well. The more understanding you have about the financial world, the more control you can have over your own finances instead of passing this responsibility to a third party. Financial literacy is a major key to having financial success. I want to share a few books and podcasts I highly recommend to achieve the same goals.
Another key piece of advice is learning to say “no” to family members, friends, and other individuals. Athletes tend to feel indebted to those close to them once they reach a certain level. As a sign of gratitude, we want to give back and take care of those that helped us get this far. There is nothing wrong with helping your parents, siblings, or close friends, which is a fantastic benefit of being a professional athlete. The problem is when athletes become overly generous and feel pressured to help everyone. Every time a cousin or person you graduated high school with has an “emergency bill” or comes to you with some “can’t miss” opportunity, it’s okay to say “NO”. Most people have trouble saying “no” and feel the pressure of not wanting to disappoint anyone. I have learned through experience that the people who care about you, and have your best interests in mind, will not be disappointed if you say, “No, I can’t help.” The people who feel disappointed are the ones looking for an easy handout and are trying to take advantage of your situation. Picking and choosing who to help, and who you should say “no” to, is key. Remember – you are not a superhero or a bank, and your job is not to help everyone. It’s okay to say “NO!”
D) What’s Next?
My last tip for financial success for athletes is to plan for post-career life while actively playing. Take advantage of free time during the offseason and explore what’s next after your playing career. Take the time to learn and discover what you have a passion for and what you might want to pursue. As athletes, our careers are not long and tend to be shorter than expected. This is why planning for what’s next is vital so you are prepared when your career comes to an end. I have become passionate about real estate investment. During the offseason, I take courses in real estate and attend conferences/educational events I can learn from. I began networking and developing relationships with other real estate professionals, and I decided to take steps to plan for my next career. If you want to be a coach, attend coaching clinics and do your due diligence to network with other coaches. If you want to be in media, attend media training workshops or internships. Failure to plan for the future is why many athletes have trouble with their finances once their career is over because there is no money coming in. It is best to start planning for what’s next while you are young. Planning and preparing will surely benefit you and help you secure long-term financial success.
As athletes, we take on many risks while playing, so there should be very few risks when it comes to our financial future. As hard as we work to become professional athletes, we should have something to show for it once our careers have ended. Using the same focused mentality, healthy habits, active preparation, and consistent discipline we use in our sport is the same way we need to actively implement these values into our personal finances, all of which will surely help us become more frugal, gain financial success, and, most importantly, attain financial freedom.