Professional athletes are clearly a talented bunch. They possess raw physical tools that 99 percent of the population could only dream of tasting. But what they have in strength, coordination, and dexterity, they don’t always possess in financial wherewithal.
On occasion this can lead to some pretty bad investments.
4 Terrible Investments Made By Athletes
Investments are good. Whether it’s playing the stock market or betting on sports online with BetOnline, or buying rental properties, there are plenty of smart things you can do with a robust salary. But to professional athletes who like bright lights and glamorous living, smart isn’t always sexy.
Not all athletes are dumb or terrible with money. However, when you’re making millions of dollars per year and still in your 20s, wise decision-making isn’t always easy to come by.
Here are some examples of scenarios where it went all wrong:
- Floating Sofas?
Tori Hunter made a professional baseball career hitting home runs at the plate and robbing home runs from other hitters while on the field. But when it came to one investment, he was the only one getting robbed.
Around 2004, Hunter says he invested $70,000 into a peculiar invention: An inflatable raft-like structure that would sit underneath furniture and allow it to float should a home become flooded by rainfall. And after forking over the initial $70,000 sum, the inventor came back and said he needed another $500,000. This time Hunter said no, realizing he’d already been duped out of more money than the average American earns in a year.
- Hard Rock Knockoff
In 1991, Notre Dame great Raghib Ismail, nicknamed the “Rocket,” was convinced to pour $300,000 into what was basically a knockoff of the Hard Rock Cafe franchise. It was discreetly named “Rock N’ Roll Cafe.”
Ismail’s advisers pitched this investment as “fail-proof” with virtually no downsides. However, the Rocket quickly learned that this wasn’t true. The restaurant never launched, and the $300,000 was flushed down the drain.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t Ismail’s only bad investment. He also lost money investing in a record label, cosmetics procedure, and a company that was planning to create phone-card dispensers all around the country. He also lost money on a store called It’s in the Name, which allowed tourists to buy framed calligraphy of names, proverbs, and quotes.
- Pippen’s Private Jet
Scottie Pippen made more than $100 million during his career as Michael Jordan’s right-hand man. And for all of the success he’s had on the court – bringing in six NBA championships and a host of personal awards – he doesn’t have a great track record in off-the-court investments.
Perhaps Pippen’s worst investment was a $4.3 million Gulfstream private jet that he purchased back in 2002. The only problem? He wasn’t aware of the fact that the jet needed $1 million in repairs just to get off the ground.
In other investment news, Pippen has reportedly lost $27 million in bad real estate investments. Yet even with all of these terrible mistakes, he’s still doing just fine.
- That’s Fake News!
Art Monk is an NFL Hall of Famer who had a long and successful career playing football at the highest possible level. But for all of the awards he gobbled up on the field, Monk has made some pretty ill-advised decisions off the field. And one specific mistake came at the hands of his friend and teammate, Terry Orr.
Orr, jealous of the fact that he made just a fraction of what his more high-profile teammates made, concocted a plan to do something about it. He asked several teammates, including Monk, if they’d be willing to invest in a shoe company that he was starting. Monk invested $50,000, and a few other teammates followed.
Unfortunately for Monk, the shoe company didn’t exist. Orr used the funds to pay off his own personal debts. As a result of the scheme, Orr was sentenced to 14 months in prison. (In total, Orr conned people out of $141,000.)
While Orr has seen his life and career ruined, Monk has thankfully rebounded quite well. He’s the co-founder of Alliant Merchant Services and is a leader in his local community.
When Money Makes You Dumb…
Money can make otherwise smart people make dumb mistakes. And the more money a pro athlete makes, the more susceptible they become to throwing money at bad investments. While most of us will never have the money to worry about making mistakes like these, we can all share a laugh at their expense.