U.S. Olympic athletes are trained to go for the gold. And, as it turns out, their winning attitude transcends sports, impacting their financial habits as well, according to a new survey of U.S. Olympic athletes released by TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation (NYSE: AMTD), official online brokerage sponsor of Team USA.
Sixty-five percent of U.S. Olympians surveyed believe that their discipline as an Olympic athlete has helped them be more disciplined with managing their money. If they were to win the lottery only three percent of U.S. Olympians would use the money to indulge. Forty-two percent would save or invest it, 32 percent would pay back loans, and 18 percent would give it away to a charity or friends and family.
And, when U.S. Olympians have a goal in mind – whether athletic or financial in nature – they expect nothing less than success. Of those U.S. Olympians who have a financial plan, a staggering 99 percent said they were “confident” that they would reach their goals. In fact, 66 percent of them said they were “highly confident” in their success. This compares to 54 percent of average Americans who said they were “confident”, and only 22 percent who were “highly confident”. 1
“Goal setting, belief in your ability to accomplish your goals, and a systematic, step-by-step plan to reach those goals are inherent parts of being successful, really in anything you do. In my case, that’s fencing, but I employ the same strategy in many other aspects of my life, including my finances,” said U.S. Olympic fencer Mariel Zagunis, a TD Ameritrade sponsored athlete.This optimistic outlook on their financial futures errs more on the confident side than the average American, but that doesn’t mean U.S. Olympians surveyed wouldn’t do anything differently if given the chance to do so. Lingering effects of the Great Recession weigh on these athletes just as they do the rest of us. When asked if they could go back in time before the recession began and do anything differently, 64 percent said they would have saved more overall, and half of U.S. Olympians said they would have taken more responsibility for managing their money. The one thing they wouldn’t change – for most – was training. Just 9 percent said they would have spent less on athletic training.
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