This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Pro Golfers Like Mickelson Hit Hole in One on Investing Tips

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Levi Brown meets with his financial advisor at least every two months to go over his investments, but he has never called him up and told him to buy or sell a stock, according to his money manager.

Brown, however, moves in a different world from Phil Mickelson, whose corporate sponsors include Barclays (BCS) and the accounting giant KPMG.

"You don't see many NFL players or NBA players with a KPMG endorsement. I think it's just a different line of business in golf," says Robert Luna, CEO of Phoenix-based SureVest Asset Management, which manages investments for Brown as well as several former pro athletes outside of golf.

Though initial reports linking pro golfer Phil Mickelson to an insider trading inquiry now appear to have exaggerated his involvement, pro golfers have access to senior corporate executives that is unique even in the rarefied world of professional sports, say money managers and agents with ties to top athletes.

On May 30, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal both reported Mickelson was the focus of a federal insider trading investigation, along with investor Carl Icahn and professional sports gambler William Walters. On June 11, however, the Times backtracked, stating "Mickelson's ties to the investigation are weaker than previously reported." For example, Mickelson never traded shares of Clorox (CLX - Get Report) as the Times had originally written. 

Mickelson nonetheless isn't totally in the clear, according to the Times, as investigators still have questions about trades he made in Dean Foods (DF - Get Report).

One sports agent who represents several of the world's top golfers (not including Mickelson) tells TheStreet that Mickelson has a reputation as one of the sport's more active investors.

A representative for Mickelson forwarded a comment he made at a recent press conference

"With an investigation going on, I'm not going to comment any further on it. But I'll continue to say that I've done absolutely nothing wrong," the golfer told reporters.

Calls to Walters and Icahn placed Friday afternoon were not immediately returned.

Golfers run the gamut from those who take no interest at all in their investments to those who monitor them daily, according to this agent.

For golfers who do play the market, opportunities to get up close and personal with business leaders are frequent, notes Jon Najarian, a former pro football player and CNBC personality who co-owns a firm called Monster Asset Management of America, which invests on behalf of several current and former pro athletes.

Najarian suspects Mickelson's sponsorship deal with KPMG requires him to play golf with clients of the firm. KPMG declined to comment on the specifics of his contract, but one person familiar with the terms of corporate sponsorships says such an arrangement wouldn't be unusual.

"You and I know that the customers he's playing with aren't Joe Shmo. The customers he's playing with are the heads of very successful companies that KPMG is courting," Najarian says of Mickelson.

Indeed, evidence of pro golfers playing with senior corporate executives isn't difficult to find. And because golf is a leisurely sport that takes a long time to play, it affords plenty of opportunity for wide-ranging conversation.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CLX $128.94 0.00%
DF $18.08 0.00%
AAPL $93.24 0.00%
FB $117.81 0.00%
GOOG $701.43 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,660.71 +9.45 0.05%
S&P 500 2,050.63 -0.49 -0.02%
NASDAQ 4,717.0940 -8.5450 -0.18%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs