NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- He may have gotten into the NFL's Hall of Fame because of his offense, but Jerry Rice says defense is the way to go when it comes to investing.

Rice, the long-time San Francisco 49ers wide receiver and now a spokesman for MetLife (MET) , said investors need to choose wisely when it comes to their investments but they also need to protect their assets in order to have flexibility in their investment choices later. 

Investors need to "know when to be aggressive and when to back off," Rice told TheStreet's Gregg Greenberg. Investors can think of advisers as head coaches -- they have your best interests in mind and are going to put you in the best position to succeed. 

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Rice said MetLife recently conducted a survey and found 72% of its respondents had an "offense-only" approach to choosing their investments for retirement. Additionally, 72% of respondents also said they have a retirement plan in place and are on the right track. 

"It's all about preparation," Rice said, but investors need to be ready for the unexpected. Like life, investing doesn't always go as planned. "You have highs and lows," he added. 

For his personal investments, Rice says he takes a long-term approach and likes to invest in startups. "I don't believe in getting rich overnight," he concluded. 

-- Written by Bret Kenwell

Follow @BretKenwell

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