Recently I watched a Netflix documentary called “30 For 30: Broke” by director Billy Corben. This documentary examines the harsh realities behind the flashy careers of professional athletes, most of whom will go bankrupt several years after retiring.

Professional athletes are often targeted by unethical agents, lawyers and financial advisors.

“By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL Players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress”. (1)

Admittedly, I not much of a sport fan and since high school have leaned more toward geek than jock. However, it broke my heart to learn that a majority of athletes do not have a financial advocate.

Steps professional athletes can take to help secure longevity in retirement are the same rules Main Street use to secure theirs.

  • Hire a “fee-only” advisor who can provide conflict-free advice
  • Speak only with certified financial planners with the CFP™ designation
  • Have a majority of investments in index and liquid Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s)
  • Avoid “non-traded” investment or partnership schemes

Athletes don’t have to do anything fancy to keep assets growing over a lifetime. Their funds can be easily deposited in a regular investment account which can be opened with a firm like Fidelity, Scottrade or E-Trade.

Be Defensive: If an investment seems too good to be true… it probably is.

Bill Ulivieri is the owner of Cenacle Capital Management, LLC, ( and a frequent contributor on financial and investment related topics with Relevant Radio ® 950 AM in Chicago. Relevant Radio is Catholic talk radio with a potential audience of over 50 million listeners.