Ex-NBA Star: What I Learned From Financial Mistakes

Antoine Walker coaching in the Nike summer Chi-League (Creative Commons photo)

Ex-NBA star Antoine Walker learned the hard way when his lavish spending ended up with him in bankruptcy.

Now he teaches rising young athletes about financial literacy so they don’t make the same mistakes he did.

Looking back, the former player for the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics said during an interview with ThinkAdvisor magazine that “A financial advisor can be, like, your best friend.” His mistake, he says, was not following his advisor’s advice.

The advisor’s  job is to make sure your money lasts for your whole life, which is near impossible, says Walker, if the player is on a spending binge.

He started out at 19 knowing nothing about money, and soon blew his $108 million fortune on real estate, cars, bad business ventures, and jewelry.

“There’s nothing wrong with helping family and friends, but … at some point you have to put the word “no” into your vocabulary,” says Antoine. Your advisor can help you with that by serving as a buffer, states Walker.

Antoine’s most important lesson on financial literacy?

“Make sure the guys are going to have money when their career is over. Maybe they’re stuck with three or four homes and paying big taxes, and they have all the upkeep on them too. It’s a big transition coming from playing ball, and there’s all this time left to live.”

The Takeaway: Thanks, Antoine, for the great advice! Your perspective, as someone who has been there, is invaluable!

About Mari Adam

Mari Adam, Certified Financial Planner™ and President of Adam Financial Associates Inc, has been helping individuals and families chart their financial futures for over twenty-five years. Have a question about your financial situation? Ask Mari!

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