And professional athletes surely can use the help, considering that 78% of NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress within two years of retirement because of joblessness or divorce, according to Sports Illustrated. Sixty percent of NBA players are broke five years into retirement, SI said.
Enter Pro Athlete Direct, a database of 7,000 pro athletes.
“Our tool can help advisers grow their businesses and help fix those SI stats by improving the financial direction of these athletes,” said S. Brian Ouellette, who created the database after spending a decade in the money management industry...
Former Wall-Streeter Is Determined To Prevent Millionaire Athletes From Blowing Their Fortune By Adam Fusfeld, Business Insider
As a former financial planner, the long-term was Brian Ouellette's expertise. Ouellette figured he could use that experience to protect athletes from doom – if only he could get in contact with them.
Fortunately, his "ears perked" when he learned of Athlete Connect, an existing database of athletes and sports agents. Before long he leveraged that database into a full-fledged company called Pro Athlete Direct...
Database Connects Athletes With Advisors By Cort Smith, Private Wealth Magazine
Within two years of retirement, 78% of former NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress due to joblessness or divorce. Within five years of retirement, some 60% of former NBA players are broke. Brian Ouellette, a former money manager on the Chicago Board of Trade turned entrepreneur, was dumbfounded by these dismal stats, gleaned from a March 2009 article he read in Sports Illustrated.
“The SI data caught me off guard,” Ouellette said. “For most of these athletes, their current money management plan and direction was not working. They clearly needed new advice, new money managers to ‘shift the tide,’ to bring those bankruptcy statistics down to zero.”...
Database Connecting Pro Athletes To Wealth Advisors Debuts Wendy Connett, Family Wealth Report
Alarming statistics about the lack of wealth longevity of professional athletes has prompted a former Wall Streeter turned entrepreneur to launch a database aimed at connecting this segment with wealth advisors.
A Sport Illustrated article published early last year prompted Brian Ouellette to launch Athlete Connect. The article revealed that within two years of retirement, 78 per cent of former NFL players are bankrupt or under financial stress and within five years of retirement, 60 per cent of former NBA players are broke.
“The majority of these athletes are going broke,” Ouellette told Family Wealth Report.
Ouellette, a former money manager at CIBC Oppenheimer and UBS, spent a year and half developing and building Athlete Connect, which he markets through Seattle-based Pro Athlete Direct.
The database, which launched in September, currently includes more than 6,000 athletes in 16 sports and 1,200 agents. The average annual income of athletes in the database is $1.6 million, not including endorsements.
Search options include team, name, sport, salary, location, agent and agency. A single license costs $---- annually (contact for current pricing).
The database will expand to include European sports next year, starting with soccer. An educational component for pro athletes in need of wealth management awareness will also be an integral part of the venture.
"The best advisers & planners would rise to the top."
Show Them Their Money: Seeking Athlete Clients American Banker, by Steve Garmhausen
With $4 billion of assets under management, the financial advisory firm James E. Bashaw & Co. does not really need to reach out to new kinds of clients.
But James Bashaw, the Houston firm's chairman and chief executive, intends to do just that. He plans to expand its practice to professional athletes — a group with a reputation for being as difficult as they are rich. "I just think it's an underserved market," he said.
Bashaw has subscribed to a new database of professional athletes. He plans to pinpoint prospects and court them with financial- education boot camps and a book, which he is writing, about athletes and money.
It is clear that many professional athletes direly need financial guidance. In a 2009 article, Sports Illustrated reported that financial crises are rampant among retired athletes. Seventy-eight percent of NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress within two years after retiring, according to the article, and 60% of NBA players go broke within five years of retiring.
"Whatever has been occurring up to this moment is absolutely, positively failing these athletes," said S. Brian Ouellette. Ouellette, a former financial adviser who is based in Seattle, runs Pro Athlete Direct, the company that sells Bashaw and others access to a database of athletes and sports agents...
Also published in Financial Planning magazine & On Wallet Street magazine.
Expert: I Wouldn’t Be Surprised To See More NFL ‘Wipeouts’ Like Ex-Raven McAlister A little more than a decade later, McAlister, a three-time Pro Bowler, who at one time was under contract for a total of $55 million, finds himself living with his parents, wrapped up in a nasty child-support case with his ex-wife, and is, for all intents and purposes, broke.
As first reported by TMZ on Thursday, court documents detail how McAlister, a retired 10-year NFL veteran of the Ravens and New Orleans Saints, has no income and hasn’t had any income flow since retiring in 2009.
Currently, McAlister is wrapped up in trying to lower his $11,000 a month obligations in child support to his ex-wife, Marlene, who claimed that McAlister ended their marriage in 2009 after just 13 months when she got pregnant and refused to have an abortion.
“My parents provide me with my basic living expenses as I do not have the funds to do so,” he said in the court records.
The McAlister story is the latest example of retired NFL players facing significant financial trouble just two or three years removed their playing days. A 2009 Sports Illustrated study found that 78 percent of former NFL players are bankrupt or face serious financial heartache due to joblessness or divorce just two years into retirement. Somewhere between 60 to 80 percent of athletes in the three major American professional leagues – the NFL, NBA, and MLB – are going broke between two and four years into retirement, said Brian Ouellette, founder of Pro Athlete Direct, a Seattle-based athlete-agent database service aiming to help pro athletes improve their financial investments.
One of the more common threads amongst athletes facing financial trouble only a couple years out of the game stems from a lack of financial investment plan from the time some athletes enter the league, Ouellette said. Investments by athletes in items such as cars and real estate have not been seen as stable, long-term assets that will be beneficial to their estate once they’re retired.
“When looking at McAlister, I would not be surprised if we see more of these wipeouts,” Ouellette said. “We are seeing athletes that are highly invested in real estate, leveraged in highly depreciating assets. Something that was worth a buck is now 20 or 30 cents if you can get it liquefied.”
He added: “When athletes make it professionally, they need to identify that they did earn this money. They need to treat money with respect.”
Considering pro athletes in the three major sports have a very limited time to generate the bulk of their net worth, these financial difficulties are compounded by a lack of time as well as the instinctive need to take care of family and friends, Ouellette said.
“I think Chris is in that situation of trying to help a lot of guys,” Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata told the Baltimore Sun. “It’s tough. You’ve just got to make sure that you take care of yourself and you definitely feel sympathy for him just because you know what he’s been through. Hopefully, he can come out of it.”
Either way, that Super Bowl-winning performance must seem like a long time ago.
Brian Ouellette, founder and CEO of Pro Athlete Direct, says advisors can add millions of dollars to their asset base in a matter of months by marketing to under-served professional athletes in need of financial planning services to help prevent them from squandering the vast amounts of money they earn during their brief careers.
"The majority of professional players go broke within a few years of retirement," Ouellette says. "For example, 60% of players in the National Basketball Association go broke within five years of retiring and 78% of players in the National Football League are broke after just two years of retirement. Our goal is to help financial advisors fix this problem and improve their business at the same time."
In a recent webinar, Ouellette said some athletes go broke and end up selling their Super Bowl rings or declaring bankruptcy due to various reasons––falling victim to Ponzi schemes; spending too much on luxury items; having limited peak earnings time of three to five years; or having no financial plans in place, among others.
"There is a tremendous opportunity here for financial planners to help sustain these individuals and their families over a lifetime, but the athletes need to take action now because the earnings cannot be replaced and what the athletes are doing now is not working," he says. "This is true financial planning in every sense of the word with new clients with tremendous amounts of money available. Without assistance, these problems end marriages and disrupt families."
To capture this market, planners need to bring a point of distinction to the table that others are not talking about, such as tax strategies, insurance risk management or investment risk strategies.
"Your ability to simplify and explain these things will increase your value to them," Ouellette says. But he advises dealing with the athlete's agent rather than the athlete directly because "the athlete is like a corporation and the agent is the CEO. Great agents are always looking for alliances with good financial advisors. We watched one advisor add 28 athletes to his client base in two years by dealing with a good agent."
Ouellette advises planners to subscribe to Sports Business Daily to keep up with sports issues that can be used to help open doors.
"There is a great opportunity for advisors who are good at what they do because there is a tremendous amount of money up for grabs," Ouellette says. "Advisors market themselves to doctors or lawyers or business owners. They can market themselves to athletes."
Ouellette's firm, Pro Athlete Direct, has a database of 7,500 athletes and agents that members can draw on. ––Karen DeMasters
"Our service enables our licensee to connect, network & collaborate with over 7,500 pro athletes & sports agents."
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