Broker Check

Choosing an Advisor

People often ask what they should look for in a financial advisor. The answer to that question is easy: Competence and trust. Unfortunately, finding someone with both qualities can be very difficult. Plus, people’s perception of competence and trust can vary widely among different people.

As an athlete, you can be a magnet for all sorts of people wanting to “help” you. Some of these people are educated and credentialed professionals, and some are not. Although it is probably best to work with someone with a good amount of education and experience, those characteristics alone do not guarantee advisor competence. I have met many educated and credentialed sales people who care a lot more about earning a commission than they care about your financial well being.

Many athletes seek financial advice from a family member, or a friend (often a teammate) because they trust them. Remember, just because you trust someone does not mean they are qualified. Family members and friends are often not qualified nor prepared to deal with the complexities of your situation.

Choosing your financial advisor can be a very hard decision and you should not take that decision lightly. We recommend you find an independent fee-only advisor. Since fee-only advisors are compensated solely by their clients, you don’t have to worry about any conflicts of interest. This will help eliminate the commission hungry advisors. Click here to learn more about the different types of advisors.

Next, we recommend you find an advisor who understands the complex needs of an athlete. Do they understand your needs? Do they understand your league’s benefits? Do they understand the pressures you experience from family and friends?

Finally, we recommend you choose someone who you can relate to in the same manner you relate to your coach rather than a fellow player. A coach-like advisor will help you become a better financial manager. He will not do it for you, but will be there to assist you and educate you so you can make yourself better.

We suggest you find a fee-only independent advisor with the following qualifications:

  • Is an NFLPA Registered Financial Advisor
  • Understands the challenges of athletes
  • Is familiar with your league’s benefits
  • Has significant experience working with high net worth clients
  • Has a college degree (advance degree preferred)
  • Has a CFP® designation

Remember to ask questions and to be skeptical. Continue to ask questions until you are comfortable. A good advisor will appreciate your desire to learn.