Financial Planning
November 7, 2023

6 Ways Wealth Management for Professional Athletes Is Different Than Normal Wealth Management

Stewart Willis

Talented athletes have bright futures with numerous opportunities within sports and entertainment. However, to make the most of these opportunities, they need wealth management for professional athletes. This is a specialized branch of wealth management that caters to the specific challenges that come with being an athlete. Financial planning should be taken seriously.

The experts in professional athlete wealth management know how to navigate through these unique challenges properly. Here are some key differences between wealth management for athletes and traditional wealth management:

1. Short-lived High Earnings

Let's talk about the financial reality that many athletes and entertainers face. While they may earn substantial incomes during their peak years, it's important to acknowledge that these earning windows can be quite short-lived. Professional athletes may only have a few years to capitalize on their physical abilities before retiring. They are also at a high risk for injuries, which can shorten their career lifespan.

This means that wealth management for professional athletes is neccessary to secure long-term financial stability during these limited peak earning years. It's a unique challenge that requires careful thought and strategic financial planning to ensure a comfortable future beyond their time in the spotlight.

2. High Risk of Financial Exploitation

Due to their public profile, these professional athletes are often at a higher risk of financial exploitation. This can be through unscrupulous advisors, family, or acquaintances. A specialized financial manager for athletes will be well-versed in recognizing and guarding against such risks.

With their fame and fortune, professional athletes often find themselves vulnerable to financial exploitation. The risk is always present, whether it's unscrupulous advisors, family members, or acquaintances. That's where specialized athlete financial planning comes in—someone who understands athletes' unique challenges and is well-versed in recognizing and guarding against financial risks. With their expertise, sports financial advisors can provide the necessary guidance and protection to ensure that athletes' hard-earned money is secure and well-invested.

3. Brand and Image Monetization

Personal branding is a significant revenue source for professional athletes. Hence, wealth managers need to consider strategies for brand monetization, protection, and, in some cases, repair. Even after their career has ended, their reputation alone can help them earn income.

This is what allows them to connect with brands and get income from:

  • brand sponsorships
  • endorsement deals
  • sponsored content collaborations
  • merchandise sales

The average person doesn't have a curated image or public persona to draw income. As a result, wealth managers are now tasked with developing strategies for brand monetization, protection, and, in some cases, repair.

Wealth management for professional athletes needs to identify these potential revenue streams and developing strategies to maximize client earnings. However, it's not just about making money and investment management from personal branding.

Protecting the brand is equally important. With the rise of social media and online platforms, pro athletes are more vulnerable than ever to reputation damage or infringement of their brand identity. Wealth managers for professional athletes must work closely with their clients to implement measures that safeguard their image and mitigate potential risks.

4. High Risk of Financial Exploitation

The risk is always present, whether it's unscrupulous advisors, family members, or acquaintances. That's where wealth management for professional athletes comes in. Pro athletes need someone who recognizes and guards against financial risks. With their expertise, these financial managers for athletes can provide the necessary guidance and protection to ensure that athletes' hard-earned money is secure and well-invested.

5. Insurance and Health Concerns

Given the rigorous nature of their professions, athletes often require insurance policies that specifically address their needs. For instance, there needs to be adequate financial protection in the event of an injury or disability that prevents them from participating in their sport.

Professional runner at the starting block

Unlike traditional insurance policies, which may not adequately cover the specific risks faced by athletes, disability insurance can provide tailored coverage that takes into account the physical demands and potential career-ending injuries associated with their profession.

6. Lifestyle Management

Athletes often lead lives that are more extravagant and publicized than the average person. As a result, wealth management for professional athletes have different challenges. Higher expenses are a key aspect that sets wealth management for professional athletes apart.

Wealth managers for athletes need to carefully account for these expenses and manage cash flow responsibly, They need to ensure their clients are capable of making sound financial decisions.

However, it's not just about managing extravagant spending; sustainable financial habits are also crucial to avoid going bankrupt. Athletes may have substantial incomes, but planning for professional athletes must involve education. Sports financial advisors should advise on responsible and long-term money management and investment strategies. This includes budgeting, investing wisely, and planning strategies for the future beyond peak earning years and into retirement planning.

Athlete Wealth Management with You in Mind

When managing your wealth, Asset Preservation Wealth and Tax is the firm that genuinely listens to you. We understand that your financial needs extend beyond just investing, so we offer a comprehensive range of services.

With our expertise and personalized approach, we are dedicated to helping you preserve and grow your assets while minimizing your tax liabilities. Trust us to be your trusted partner in achieving your financial goals.

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Stewart Willis is the founder and president of Asset Preservation Wealth & Tax, a financial planning firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Investment advisory services offered through Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser.

The commentary on this blog reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the author, Stewart Willis, providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Foundations Investment Advisors, LLC (“Foundations”), an SEC registered investment adviser or performance returns of any Foundations client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment, legal or tax advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Personal investment advice can only be rendered after the engagement of Foundations for services, execution of required documentation, including receipt of required disclosures. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Foundations manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Any statistical data or information obtained from or prepared by third party sources that Foundations deems reliable but in no way does Foundations guarantee the accuracy or completeness. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Any past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Foundations and its advisors are properly licensed or exempted. For more information, please go to and search by our firm name or by our CRD # 175083.

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