The sports world is littered with sad tales of professional athletes who made millions only to later go broke.
Major League Baseball players in particular face a unique set of circumstances that can make managing their money especially challenging.
The biggest challenge is that, unlike most people, baseball players are only paid over a six-month stretch during the regular season. Complicating matters is that this is the time of year when it is most difficult to handle the day-to-day aspects of ordinary life, as they are constantly travelling and sometimes away from home for 7-10 days at a time.
Winpoint Financial is a company that helps professional athletes manage their money with an emphasis on Major League Baseball players. Their client list includes over 65 current and former big leaguers including Mark Teixeira and Cal Ripken Jr.
Joe Geier, President of Winpoint Financial, explained the biggest challenges baseball players face.
“Unlike most of us, professional baseball players have a short window of availability to dedicate to anything other than perfecting their craft,” Geier told Business Insider. “You and I can hold meetings on weekends or steal some time in the afternoon for a call with our investment advisor, but for baseball players, once the regular season starts the focus is 100% on baseball”
Ripken Jr. agreed, noting that the athletes at the highest levels need the right relationships outside of their sport in order to excel in it.
“Athletes need to devote the vast majority of their time to staying in shape and perfecting their games,” said the Hall of Famer. “Having a trusting relationship when it comes to your personal business is critical.”
Geier went on to explain that meeting with clients during Spring Training is key to preparing a professional baseball player’s finances, noting that unlike most people, baseball players are only paid from April through September.
“Meeting with players prior to their salary hitting their bank account is the perfect time for a full financial review and setting expectations and financial goals,” said Geier. “Without the same bi-weekly pay schedule like most working people, it can be difficult for a player to budget for an entire year.”
Teixeira notes that the situation of a big leaguer is so unique that it was important to him to find somebody that specialised in managing the finances of professional baseball player.
“For athletes, it’s critical that we surround ourselves with people that understand our lifestyle,” said Teixeira, a Winpoint client. “[This] allows me the ability to immerse myself in preparing for the season and stay focused on winning ball games, while assuring my family that our finances are taken care of.”
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