Professional Athletes Must Make Their Money Last
With more than 500 races, 38 career wins including his second consecutive checkered flag at the Daytona 500, NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin has plenty to be thankful for. But even at the height of his career, the 39 year-old driver realizes the obvious, his career will one day come to an end.
We spoke with Hamlin at the New York Stock Exchange where he wisely preached "the fountain of money, when you are an athlete, turns off one day."
It's a lesson some athletes learn early in their careers, allowing them to live off their earnings and endorsements during retirement. But not all professional players have that same financial wherewithal. Some are forced to file for bankruptcy shortly after their playing days are over despite making tens, sometimes hundreds of million dollars.
One of Hamlin's keys to financial longevity is his lengthy endorsement deal with FedEX (FDX). The multinational delivery service company has endorsed Hamlin for 15 straight years, something the driver admitted is very rare in the world of NASCAR.
Hamlin also credited his friendship with NBA legend Michael Jordan as a boost to his earnings. The back-to-back Daytona 500 winner said he and Jordan were initially friends but that relationship developed into a business partnership when the Jordan Brand signed on as a sponsor for the member of Joe Gibbs' racing team.
Step one for securing his financial future was realizing his prize money and endorsement deals will one day come to an end. Step two was realizing there are professional money managers and accountants that will ensure his financial security which allows him to focus on what he's done for the last 16 years of his career...win races!