Alex Rodriguez is facing a 211-game suspension, and a dozen other players will be banned from the field for 50 games in the latest round of fallout from Major League Baseball's investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Clearly, some people never learn, but ordinary Americans in less glamorous jobs can learn some valuable lessons from the downfall of A-Rod and other baseball stars.
Even if you aren't a professional athlete, and even if you don't put anything into your body more exotic than the occasional rum-and-coke, here are four personal finance lessons you can take from baseball's PED scandal:
1. Don't overreach for success
What surprises many baseball fans about high-profile PED cheaters like A-Rod and Barry Bonds before him is that they were clearly on their way to Hall-of-Fame careers before they started bulking up on illegal substances. These are people who felt their exceptional natural abilities weren't enough, so they overreached for success. The finance lesson here? Don't overreach for success with your investments. Be willing to sell your winners when they have met your expectations, because nothing has unlimited upside potential.
2. Value your reputation
Retired players associated with PEDs have received little support in Hall-of-Fame voting, and while some active cheaters may continue to benefit from lucrative contracts, their endorsement potential has been badly compromised by this scandal.You may have a lower profile than a star ballplayer, but your reputation is financially important too. Be careful what you post on social media, because leaving your indiscretions where others can see them may cost you job opportunities. Your credit history is another example of how your reputation can have financial repercussions. If you aren't careful with your credit history, you may find you don't qualify for the best rates on mortgage loans or credit cards -- you might not even qualify for credit at all.