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Best Financial Advisors for Athletes
A typical combination of top performance, quick cash windfalls, as well as fame and spotlight attention often renders many professional athletes feeling on top of the world and untouchable in their financial lives.
However, a few bouts of income tax, injuries and seasonal playing time, and high-level professional competition easily leaves an unprepared professional athlete trying to pick up the pieces.
Financial planning becomes quintessential to holistic well-being for professional athletes. And a key element to successful financial planning is the help of the right financial advisor to handle their business—finance management is not the sort of stuff athletes are trained for.
Who is a Financial Advisor?
When in need of financial planning, it is important that professional athletes go for expert advisors rather than who they like. Moreover, a professional athlete must learn to distinguish between wannabes, rookies, and experts, and the following descriptions will help tell their differences.
There are those who pose around online as financial experts but have never had any education or training or actual experience in real time. Many are on social media and other platforms with large followers. They have built their reputation on simple charisma and bits and pieces of knowledge from here and there.
All professional athletes, even those at amateur levels, who wish to sustain a long-span career and a stable lifestyle must ensure to not fall into the traps of these.
The other group of “advisors” to watch out for are those just emerging from the primordial education. They appear to be up to the task but really have little to nothing to offer, since they have only completed the required education but are still new to the industry.
Professional athletes should steer clear of these too. They should be left to work with and learn from the experts.
Experienced and Expert advisors
An expert financial advisor has both received the required education and passed certification and licensure examinations, for example, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Series 7 exam. This means that they have grasped the knowledge of finance and investments and are able to guide professional athletes on these matters.
Sometimes, taking on the task of financial planning, they organize insurance coverage and estate planning. Also, they provide useful insights when a client’s attorney drafts wills or trusts. Generally, they charge annual fees that range from 0.5% to 1% of assets under management.
Do Professional Athletes Need Financial Advisors?
Although professional athletes should get a better understanding of financial matters, it is crucial that they work alongside a financial advisor. Many athletes begin their careers at a relatively young age and spend most of their time perfecting the trade. And though agents to these athletes can offer financial advice every now and then, neither the athletes nor their agents can replace an astute financial advisor.
Why Does a Professional Athlete Need a Financial Advisor?
Here are three reasons why a financial advisor is irreplaceable in the success story of an athlete:
Securing the Best Financial Deals
The amount of money an athlete earns notwithstanding, if there is no financial advisor to plan and manage this income, they may end up broke and lonely. A veteran financial advisor will help athletes cover risk management, handle tax planning and investment management, make beneficial endorsements, and provide adequate retirement plans.
Developing Plan B
Most professional athletes are prone to illicit spending and extravagant lifestyles which often eats heavily into their incomes. This doesn’t appear to be a problem when things are going great with their professional performance. An expert financial advisor will make sure that a solid alternative plan is in the pipeline for any career surprises.
Proper Wealth Management
An expert financial advisor, who may double as a financial planner depending on their practice, will help an athlete set up a proper wealth management system and savings structure. This will cause their wealth to grow year in year out and ultimately help the athlete sustain a comfortable lifestyle for them and their families throughout their career and beyond.
5 Top Financial Advisors for Athletes
Here are 5 top financial advisors that help high-performing athletes maintain healthy financial lifestyles.
William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®
William is both an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA®). He is Founder and CIO of Bay Street Capital Holdings, an investment and wealth management firm that serves as a fiduciary for custom long-only public equity portfolios.
Throughout his rich career, he has proven to be a perfect financial advisor not only for young and budding athletes but for athletes at whatever stage of their career. As a fiduciary, he provides objective services that help athletes better understand financial matters and make best financial decisions.
William oversees investment strategy, capital formation, and investor relations at Bay Street and its sister companies. In 2021 and 2022, he was ranked by Investopedia.com among the top 100 financial advisors, and his company, Bay Street, is ranked by Wealthmanagement.com as 2nd out of 900 asset management firms.
Ekenna Anya Gafu, CFP®, AAMS®
A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and an Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS), Ekenna is the Director of Planning at Bay Street Capital Holdings and serves clients by consolidating comprehensive financial plans that turn their wishes into results.
Drawing from half-a-decade in the brokerage industry, he serves as an excellent financial advisor, generating effective financial plans including trustworthy retirement plans for clients. His expertise enables him to function as a unique financial advisor to athletes.
Driven by necessity, Ila ventured into the finance and wealth management sector as a property manager, serving on a 4-person team that managed a total of 300 housing units. In addition to securing a real estate license and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from California State University Long Beach, over the years, she has honed the art of creating lifestyle stability and financial security through housing and ownership.
Ila brings her experience and expertise into the community at Bay Street as the company’s SVP, Real Estate Operations, where she provides laser-focused services for American homeowners. She provides excellent real estate opportunities education for professional athletes, and volunteers her free-time to tackle housing insecurity through her work on non-profit housing space.
Timothy Walla, CFP®, CFEd®
Tim is an independent Certified Financial Planner, Certified Financial Educator, and NFLPA Registered Player Financial Advisor with over 2 decades of experience in investment management. His practice emphasizes risk reduction and returns optimization for professional athletes and other professionals. He is Founder of Walla Street Wealth Management Inc.
Eric Imphong, CFP®, CFEd®
Erich is a Certified Financial Planner with over a decade of experience in the financial service sector, and currently works with Plotkin Financial Advisors, LLC. Prior to his move to Plotkin, he served as associate portfolio manager at Beier Asset Management where he worked with professional athletes. His enthusiasm for sports and personal interest in professional athletes enriches his professional services.
Get Your Financial Planning Underway
The current trend points to a more complicated future for professional athletes and their financial planning. Employing the services of a financial advisor is no longer an option for any athlete who hopes to enjoy a rich career.
Experienced financial advisors such as Bay Street Capital Holdings' Will, Ekenna and Ira are top choices that have helped several professional athletes to up their game in financial planning.
Bay Street Capital Holdings
Bay Street Capital Holdings is a Black-owned, independent investment advisory, wealth management, and financial planning firm headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. They manage portfolios with the goal of maintaining and increasing total assets and income with a high priority on managing total risk and volatility. Although many advisors may focus on maximizing returns, they place a higher priority on managing total risk and volatility.
Our founder, William Huston founded Bay Street after 13 years of supporting the United States' largest retirement plan ($650B) Thrift Savings Plan. He is recognized as Investopedia’s Top 100 Financial Advisors for 2022. In California, Bay Street Capital Holdings is the only Black-owned firm out of the twenty firms that received this recognition.
In Scottsdale Arizona, Ekenna Anya-Gafu CFP, AAMS is recognized among the Best Financial Advisors for his responsiveness, friendliness, helpfulness, and detail. Bay Street was founded to advocate for diverse and emerging fund managers and entrepreneurs.
In 2021, Bay Street was selected as a finalist out of over 900 firms across the US in the category of Asset Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).