The Internet is buzzing with a clip from Terrell Owens’ reality show on VH1. In a recent installment of the program, T.O. begins to cry about the money troubles he faces after discovering that his finances aren’t adding up, his credit score is in the 500’s, he has mortgages due on real estate and he owes child support payments. You can watch it for yourself here:
Two or three years ago, I discussed a Sports Illustrated article that revealed a startling 78% of NFL Players went bankrupt within 2 years of retiring!
Jamal Mashburn’s Empire
On the opposite end of the spectrum you have people like Jamal Mashburn. He played in the NBA for 13 seasons, earning $75,623,634 over that time. Instead of squandering it, he invested the money and now owns 71 restaurants (specifically, 34 Outback Steakhouses and 37 Papa John’s), as well as car dealerships! Why? Jamal said in a recent interview, “I’ve always wanted to carry a briefcase. It’s just something you want to do growing up in NYC. When I was younger, I always wondered what was in them.” Today, it’s a fairly good guess that Jamal’s proverbial briefcase is stuffed with massive dividend checks from the millions of dollars in profit thrown off from pizza, chicken, bloomin’ onions, and soda sales to his customers.
Ulysses Bridgeman, Jr.’s Empire
Another good example is Ulysses Bridgeman, Jr. who is in his mid-to-late 50’s, has a net worth of $200+ million through his holding company, Manna Inc., and controls 161 Wendy’s and 118 Chili’s restaurants. His payroll includes 11,000 managers, cashiers, and cooks and his annual sales exceed $530 million. He also has a stake in a soda bottler and sits on the board of the PGA. Bridgeman played for the Milwaukee Bucks and was a first round draft pick in 1975.
Shouldn’t pattern recognition be obvious? The people who were successful spent their money on assets that threw off even more money so they could continue to buy the things they wanted long after they put down the basketball, football, or baseball. The people who go bankrupt use their cash to buy things that are eventually worthless, like shiny new cars and houses with expensive mortgages attached to them. The moment the sports career ends, those in the former category continue to get richer and earn more with each passing year as their capital base expands, whereas those in the latter category find themselves broke and humiliated.