May 2023

Go Broke In Style By Investing In Status Symbols Not Status

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In our society, athletes often find themselves in the spotlight, admired for their accomplishments and perceived wealth. However, a closer look reveals a disheartening reality: many athletes face financial challenges and end up bankrupt despite their substantial earnings. This article explores the importance of investing in true status, beyond fleeting symbols of wealth, and how athletes can build lasting influence to safeguard their financial futures.

Status, both in the world of athletics and beyond, represents an individual's perceived position and rank within a given context or society. It encompasses influence, respect, and authority, and is influenced by factors such as achievements, wealth, reputation, and level of impact. While athletes may acquire high financial and influential status during their careers, it is crucial to differentiate between true status and the superficial symbols that often accompany it.

There must be an investment in rounding out the areas that typically come along with growing money the traditional way. Education, network, and some hard lessons instead of having to figure out what to do with millions while we're most immature, impressionable, risky, and ignorant of the importance of making wise decisions. Status is severely lacking in the other areas and there are plenty predators around fully aware of this and ready to take advantage.

Athletes, due to their notable earnings and public recognition, are often lured into the trappings of symbolic status. Flashy cars, extravagant mansions, and indulgent lifestyles can create a mirage of wealth and success. However, relying solely on these symbols can be detrimental, as evidenced by the alarming financial struggles many athletes face post-retirement.

Reports from various sources, including athletes, players' associations, agents, and financial advisors, highlight the financial challenges faced by retired athletes:

  • Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players experience financial difficulties.
  • By the time they have been retired for two years, approximately 78% of former NFL players are bankrupt or under severe financial stress due to joblessness or divorce.
  • Retired MLB players have also suffered financial ruin, and some active players have been impacted by economic crises, such as the alleged fraud involving Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford.
Investing in True Status
To avoid the pitfalls of financial instability, athletes should shift their focus from superficial symbols to building lasting influence:
  1. Financial Education: Athletes should prioritize financial literacy and seek guidance from trusted advisors to make informed investment decisions and protect their wealth.
  2. Diversified Investments: Instead of succumbing to the allure of extravagant purchases, athletes can invest in revenue-generating opportunities, such as creating venture capital funds like Steph Curry or family offices, which provide long-term financial stability.
  3. Building a Personal Brand: Athletes can cultivate their personal brand beyond the sports arena, leveraging their influence and reputation to secure endorsements, sponsorship deals, and business partnerships to create multiple revenue streams.

Athletes have the opportunity to redefine success beyond the confines of material wealth. By investing in true status, they can build lasting influence, financial security, and leave a positive legacy for generations to come. By prioritizing financial education, making wise investments, and cultivating their personal brand, athletes can create a new paradigm of success and inspire others to follow suit.

Athletes must recognize that true status extends far beyond symbols of wealth.

Issa Hall, Esq

Issa has founded multiple ventures, is an author, and founding partner of Hall & Dixon law firm, with over a decade of experience in tech and law.

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