Why do sporting stars so often lose their fortune?

Boris Becker

Amongst the many high profile cases of sportspeople losing control of their finances, the recent tale of tennis star Boris Becker, who reports having lost his £100m fortune, is one of the most astonishing.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t at all surprised by this story,” says Manny Cabrejas of Manchester-based wealth management agency Mamucium Capital. “I’ve seen this happen many times over. 78% of former NFL players go bankrupt or experience financial stress within two years of retirement. Widen that gap to five years, and 60% of NBA players are broke.”

Cabrejas is an expert in the field of financial planning and wealth management, having worked for several years as a private banker in Europe and the Middle East. During this time his high-profile clientele included Royalty and other high-net-worth individuals, and he maintained full responsibility and management of a $500 million investment mandate.

This phenomenon of sportspeople losing their fortunes has less to do with their profession, and more to do with the way they, and other high-net-worth individuals, are coerced into investing their money. Sports stars are perceived as being able to take on higher risks with a proportion of their investment portfolio due to their high net-worth classification.

Cabrejas continued: “I think it has more to do with life stage, investment experience and, most importantly of all, the advisors they decide to work with. I have seen examples where advisors have not explained the high-risk profile of these investments clearly as they were getting paid big commissions.”