Former Football Player Now Counseling Players About Finances

From Katie Baker at The Ringer:

Patrick Kerney had a solid career as a defensive end in the NFL. As a second act, he has become a financial advisor to the current crop of NFL players. There are some great excerpts from this article that I included below.

You want your money with a responsible person. Also, focus on your net savings per year rather than your gross income.

one of Kerney’s first rules of thumb is that you should never give money to anyone whose own books aren’t in transparent, impeccable order…And he frequently comes back to a favorite refrain: It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep.

A person should never need to get rich twice in a lifetime.

He likens being a professional athlete to winning a lottery ticket—and reminds players that, having already hit the jackpot, they don’t necessarily need to seek out additional risky prospects, like one-off real estate deals or tech investments, until they’ve established a solid, safe asset-growth base first.

Building your financial acumen is no different than learning any other skill: get a little better every day, week, month, year.

one thing he said was that, much like his football career, he came in not knowing a lot and dedicated himself to becoming a better player every day, every year. As a rookie, he struggled, like all the rookies do. But his spiel was like, ‘It’s the same thing with your finances. You guys know nothing, and there’s nothing wrong with that; that’s fine. Make yourself learn something every year.’ I thought that was really smart, equating it with how all our guys work on their craft as a player.”

Financial security = personal freedom

Ultimately, Kerney’s goal for the NFL players he works with is financial security—which translates into personal freedom.

Another financially savvy ex-player, Rashard Mendenhall, says it is common to see players stay in the league longer than they would like because they need the additional paychecks to offset their extravagant lifestyle.

“Golden handcuffs is real,” he says. “A lot of guys, you’re so wrapped up in this life where people expect you to be a certain person, often financially, and when the money stops coming in you lose that. So guys keep playing—they’re like, ‘Another year, another contract, I’ll be safe.’ It swallows you to where your heart’s not in it, where even if you need to do something else, the pressure to keep playing is too great.”

If you are putting your trust in a financial advisor, ask them where they are putting their savings. You want your investments aligned with theirs.

“And another thing [Kerney] says,” Addae says, “is when you’re dealing with a financial adviser, you want to make sure that if they tell you to put their money somewhere, you make sure that’s where they’re putting their money, and their kid’s money.”