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In this blog post, we’ll discuss the Financial Habits that Athletes should implement in order to achieve true financial independence.

Professional athletes are no strangers to the limelight, but the financial challenges they face often remain hidden from public view.

The rollercoaster nature of a sports career, coupled with short career spans, makes financial planning a crucial aspect for athletes aiming for long-term stability.

The Financial Habits that Athletes should implement

Financial habits

Financial habits

Regular saving is the first thing that can make a profound impact on future levels of wealth.

Develop a habit of saving a portion of income regularly; 5-10% of your total income every month is a good start. Even small amounts can add up over time.

Consider setting up automatic transfers to a savings account to make saving a consistent practice. This way you can start investing early, even with small amounts.

This will then allow you to take advantage of compound interest by allowing investments to grow over time.

When investing, it might be prudent to consider low-cost, diversified investment options, such as index funds to start with. From then on you may want to invest into actively managed funds or direct stock holdings.

Finally, differentiate your spending habits between needs and wants. As always, it’s important to practice mindful spending by questioning whether a purchase is a necessity or a discretionary expense.

Therefore, avoid impulsive buying and prioritise spending on essentials.

Understanding the Financial Landscape from the viewpoint of a professional athlete

Consider the cautionary tale of former NBA star Antoine Walker, who earned over $108 million during his career but filed for bankruptcy shortly after retirement.

Walker’s overspending and high-risk investments highlight the need for athletes to understand their financial landscape.

One of the primary contributors to Walker’s financial troubles was his extravagant lifestyle.

He reportedly spent excessively on luxury cars, homes, jewellery, and other high-end items.

The allure of a lavish lifestyle is a common pitfall for professional athletes who may succumb to pressures to showcase their success through material possessions.

Walker’s financial troubles underscored the importance of comprehensive financial planning.

Athletes, with relatively short career spans, must plan for post-retirement years and unforeseen circumstances.

Without a strategic financial plan in place, athletes may struggle to sustain their lifestyles once their playing careers end.

Having a plan in place can lead to long-term financial stability, reducing the risk of bankruptcy and providing a secure foundation for post-retirement life.

Remember – don’t try to keep up with the joneses.

Budgeting and Expense Management for Athletes

LeBron James, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, has not only dominated the court but has also showcased exemplary financial discipline.

His approach to budgeting sets him apart as a role model for professional athletes seeking long-term financial stability.

Here’s an in-depth look at how LeBron James demonstrates disciplined budgeting:

LeBron James begins by creating a realistic budget that aligns with his substantial income.

This involves carefully assessing his earnings, accounting for taxes, and establishing a comprehensive financial plan.

Athletes can follow suit by developing budgets that consider both current expenditures and future financial goals, ensuring a sustainable lifestyle within their means.

James actively tracks his expenses, maintaining a keen awareness of where his money is going.

This involves monitoring day-to-day spending, keeping a close eye on discretionary purchases, and identifying areas where adjustments can be made.

Athletes can implement similar practices by adopting expense tracking tools, maintaining meticulous records, and regularly reviewing their financial statements to identify potential areas for improvement.

LeBron James diversifies his investments strategically. He doesn’t rely solely on his basketball income but explores diverse investment opportunities, including endorsements, business ventures, and philanthropic initiatives.

Athletes can emulate James’s approach by exploring investment avenues beyond their primary income source, ensuring a more resilient and diversified financial portfolio.

LeBron James’s disciplined budgeting serves as a blueprint for athletes looking to secure their financial futures.

By embracing realistic budgeting, diligent expense tracking, emergency fund preparation, financial advisor collaboration, strategic investments, and long-term planning, athletes can follow in the footsteps of this basketball icon and build a foundation for lasting financial independence.

Investing Wisely for Long-Term Growth

Take inspiration from tennis legend Serena Williams, who diversified her investments successfully.

Williams engaged in ventures such as owning stakes in sports teams and launching her own fashion line.

Serena Williams has intelligently invested in ownership stakes in sports teams, demonstrating a commitment to the sports industry beyond her playing career.

This type of investment provides her with a share of the teams’ success, creating a potential revenue stream independent of her individual athletic achievements.

Williams has ventured into entrepreneurship with the launch of her own fashion line, “Serena” as well as technology start-ups and collaborations with well-known brands.

This move expands her revenue streams beyond sports and positions her as a businesswoman.

Entrepreneurial ventures like these offer athletes an opportunity to showcase their creativity and capitalise on their personal brand.

Athletes can follow Williams’s lead by exploring entrepreneurial pursuits that align with their passions and personal brand, thereby diversifying their income sources.

Diversification mitigates risks associated with the volatile nature of sports careers, ensuring long-term financial growth.

Serena Williams has also secured numerous high-profile endorsements and sponsorships throughout her career. These partnerships contribute significantly to her income and represent a diversified revenue stream that is not solely dependent on her performance in tournaments.

Serena Williams’s success in diversifying her investments demonstrates the importance of thinking beyond the sports arena.

By strategically engaging in ownership opportunities, entrepreneurial ventures, endorsements, brand collaborations, tech investments, and philanthropy, athletes can build a well-rounded and resilient financial portfolio.

This diversification not only enhances financial stability but also positions athletes for success and influence beyond their playing careers.

Financial Education and Literacy to build the right financial habits

Despite earning millions during his career, Broyles embraced financial literacy by attending workshops and seeking mentorship.

With a solid foundation in financial education, Broyles likely approached investing with knowledge and confidence.

This would include understanding different investment vehicles, assessing risk tolerance, and making informed decisions about where to allocate funds.

Athletes can follow suit by educating themselves about various investment options, diversifying their portfolios, and seeking professional advice to make informed investment decisions.

Knowledgeable about financial pitfalls, Broyles likely took steps to avoid common traps that athletes often fall into, such as overspending, high-risk investments, or excessive debt.

Ryan Broyles’s story underscores the transformative power of financial education.

By actively seeking knowledge, setting realistic goals, budgeting wisely, investing with confidence, and avoiding common pitfalls, athletes can cultivate financial resilience and set the stage for long-term financial success.

The commitment to financial education is an investment in one’s future financial well-being, providing the tools to make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of personal finance.

Entrepreneurship in sport

Magic Johnson's transition from the court to entrepreneurship

Magic Johnson’s transition from the court to entrepreneurship

Basketball icon Magic Johnson’s transition from the court to entrepreneurship offers a valuable lesson.

Magic Johnson’s transition from the basketball court to entrepreneurship is a remarkable journey that showcases not only his prowess in sports but also his business acumen and strategic vision.

Magic Johnson’s entrepreneurial journey began while he was still an active NBA player. In the 1980s, he invested in various businesses, including purchasing a share of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.

After retiring from professional basketball in 1996, Magic Johnson founded Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE). MJE is a conglomerate that encompasses various business sectors, including entertainment, real estate, and finance.

One of Magic Johnson’s notable contributions to entrepreneurship is his focus on urban development. He invested in underserved urban communities, contributing to economic development and job creation.

In 2012, Magic Johnson became part of the ownership group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers, a Major League Baseball team. This move exemplified his expansion into sports ownership beyond basketball.

Magic Johnson Enterprises includes a chain of movie theaters, known as Magic Johnson Theaters, which initially focused on urban areas. Additionally, Johnson owns several Starbucks franchises.

Magic Johnson forged partnerships with major brands such as Starbucks, 24 Hour Fitness, and T.G.I. Friday’s. These collaborations expanded his influence and showcased his ability to leverage his personal brand for successful business ventures.

Alongside his business ventures, Magic Johnson has maintained a commitment to philanthropy. He actively supports charitable causes, particularly those focused on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

Magic Johnson’s transition from the basketball court to entrepreneurship is a testament to his business savvy, strategic thinking, and commitment to making a positive impact.

By diversifying his investments, engaging in urban development, sports ownership, and forming strategic partnerships, Johnson has solidified his legacy as a successful entrepreneur.

Insurance and Risk Management

Peyton Manning emphasis on insurance and risk management.

Peyton Manning emphasis on insurance and risk management

Peyton Manning, a retired NFL quarterback, is known not only for his remarkable achievements on the football field but also for his emphasis on insurance and risk management.

Manning’s understanding of the importance of protecting oneself against unforeseen events and managing risks has played a significant role in his overall financial strategy.

Manning secured disability insurance during his career, protecting himself against career-ending injuries.

Professional athletes, especially those in physically demanding sports like football, face inherent risks that could jeopardise their ability to play.

Athletes can learn from Manning by prioritising disability insurance or career ending insurance to safeguard their income and financial stability in the event of unexpected injuries that may curtail their playing careers.

It’s also important to regularly review policies, which ensures they adapt to changing circumstances, providing a safety net for unforeseen events.

Manning’s recognition of the uncertainties in life underscores the importance of planning for unforeseen circumstances.

Life is unpredictable, and having insurance coverage in place ensures financial protection for oneself and their dependents in case of accidents, illnesses, or other unexpected events.


In conclusion, achieving financial independence requires professional athletes to implement these proactive financial habits early in their careers.

By learning from real-life examples like LeBron James, Serena Williams, Ryan Broyles, Magic Johnson, and Peyton Manning, athletes can navigate the unique challenges of their careers, build a stable financial future, and enjoy the enduring financial benefits that come with these principles.

Remember, the financial habits that athletes should implement should start small and build up over time. It takes 21 days to form a habit so start small and early in your career.

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