Some Olympians May Be Better At Finances Than Racking Up Medals

olympic gold medal

Photo: AP Images

As you watch Olympic athletes on television tonight, consider that they are not only athletic stars, but also most of them are champion money managers.In honour of the 2012 Summer Olympics, which kicked off in London last night, TD Ameritrade released the results of its survey of current and former Olympic athletes about their attitudes toward money management.

Only 10 per cent of those surveyed were competing this year, but overall 40 per cent had won at least one Olympic medal. Just about 50 per cent of the respondents were age 51 or older.

Some 77 per cent of these Olympic athletes consider themselves financially secure and 68 per cent of them say they are saving for the future. Of those savers, an amazing 99 per cent said they were either somewhat or very confident that they would reach their financial goals.

The survey didn’t discuss retirement or retirement planning specifically, but it did ask Olympians about their investments.

  • 71 per cent had individual retirement accounts.
  • 68 per cent invested in mutual funds.
  • 66 per cent invested in stocks.
  • 46 per cent had managed accounts.
  • 43 per cent invested in bonds.
  • 23 per cent had 529 educational savings plans.
  • 17 per cent invested in exchange-traded funds.

What separates these Olympic athletes from too many of the rest of us, says Carrie Braxdale, managing director with TD Ameritrade, is their “discipline and willingness to sacrifice.”

When asked: “If you were to win the lottery or receive a major inheritance this year, what is the first thing you would do with the money?” the Olympians gave championship answers:

  • 42 per cent would invest or save this money for the future.
  • 32 per cent would use it to pay back loans from parents, family, friends and institutions or credit cards.
  • 18 per cent would donate to a charity or help out a family in need.
  • Only 3 per cent would spend the money on an indulgence.

Wow, that’s discipline — and financial fitness.

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This story was originally published by Bankrate.

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