Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 May 2008

Steve Smith, Financial Planner?

Apparently, yes. This Charlotte Observer story details the road that Carolina's best receiver is taking to a future in financial planning (Note to the writer: Jon Kasay is a kicker, not a punter). Smith has been interning two days a week at Morgan Stanley, where he has his own money (2008 base salary: $1,750,000) managed. "I wanted to absorb all I could," Smith said, after Kasay piqued his interest in his own finances. "My wife (Angie) said it consumed me. I just wanted to feed my appetite for the knowledge of what a financial planner does, not necessarily from the investor's standpoint, but more for the fundamentals of it."

Smart move by Smith. More players should take a real interest in their own finances, and be able to talk to their assembled "money guys" on a serious level.

Posted by: Doug Farrar on 20 May 2008

14 comments, Last at 21 May 2008, 6:14pm by Ryan


by Rocky the Philly Eagle (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 11:13am


Good for Steve Smith. I think Vilma was a Lehman intern in NY. I'd like to see them compete once they retire from football.

by nat (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 11:26am

This works on so many levels.

What risks does an NFL player face after retiring?

Poor financial decisions and the loss of a sense of purpose have to rank high on that list. If Smith enjoys finance, this is a great step for him.

Yes, there is life after football. It could be an empty life, even with the money, or it can have a purpose.

by Joe T. (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 11:38am

I think we need some comments on this thread from the posters over at Fox Sports.

by Brian S (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 11:57am

I interned with an NFL financial adviser a few years ago and one of his clients was Steve Smith. I wonder if all the planning for Smith's future sparked an interest in learning how to do it for himself.
I think learning how to do it yourself is a better option than just being a partner in a restaurant or something like keyshawn johnson.

by panthersnbraves (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 12:31pm

I think it's great for anyone to go out and learn something new - for a successful athlete to do it mid-career is exceptional.

by Jasonomics (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 1:11pm

Casey Cramer, a fullback for the Titans, has his Series 7 license.

He studied finance at Dartmouth.

If anyone ever listens to Dave Ramsey, he regularly rants about pro-athletes extolling the virtues of a "money guy".

Good move, Steve Smith. Take control of your own money.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 1:27pm

Tim Brown was there first.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 1:30pm

If only we could just get Emmit Smith his own show on MSNBC...

by Flounder (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 1:57pm

Step to the Wu. Wu financial.

by parker (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 2:56pm


by Will B. (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 7:41pm

Terry Tate, Office Linebacker

by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 05/20/2008 - 8:12pm

6. Getting a series 7 isn't that big of a deal.

A lot of pro atheletes get used to that high on the field and the weight room and take it to other venues in life ( drugs, gambeling etc.) Look at Charles Barkley betting 400K on the Patriots ML in the super bowl and losing. How about Michael Jordan and all of his losses.

If he wants to sit down and have a diversified portfolio, fine, but if he wants to gambel with huge stakes he could be working at a foot locker near you one day.

You would be amazed at some of these pro players finances. The stock market isn't a kids game.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 05/21/2008 - 1:18pm

Even if the only thing he learns is "you can't beat the market over the long haul" (sort of like "you have to account for Shawn Merriman on 3rd and long" or "don't let Randy Moss get behind you.") it will have been a valuable lesson. In fact, stodgy diversification is probably what a lot of these guys need; as you say, a lot of guys who go from rags to riches have no real idea what to do with it.

I think it's awesome and have long thought that a charismatic NFL retiree who sets up a good wealth management practice could have a de facto monopoly on access to all these guys. Hire a real estate guy, a private equity guy, stock and bond market guys, etc. so your clients get broad exposure and representation.

He clearly understands where they are, where they came from, and presumably where they want to be in their later decades. I assume the NFLPA has a handful of firms it recommends for this stuff; I think one of their own would have an inside track. Talk about meaningful life after football--we've all heard stories about the guys who are on skid row 10 years after retiring.... what satisfaction knowing that you helped a bunch of people (generally your friends) avoid that. And make money doing so at the same time.

by Ryan (not verified) :: Wed, 05/21/2008 - 6:14pm

(Note to the writer: Jon Kasay is spelled John, not Jon)