Hey, I like schadenfreude as much as the next guy. In this economy, it’s my best entertainment dollar. Still, I found Mark Riddix’ article on “investopedia.com” “ in which he details the respective financial collapse of, among others, Mike Tyson, John Daly, and Lenny Dykstra “ a pretty lame, opportunistic use of celebrity to sell Investopederast’s sponsor bullshit. Riddix offers up some sad statistics via Sports Illustrated that 80% of NFL players consider bankruptcy within two years of retirement and 50% of NBA players are broke within five years. Yes, you could boil it down, as Riddix does, to bad planning and bad business sense. That’s an especially convenient analysis for a site that loads its articles themselves with links to gouging, amoral corporations like Bank of America (sure, I’d like advice on getting a Federal bailout just like BoA’s) or that peddle financial planning books . But, in the cases of Tyson, Daly, and Dykstra, and many others, do you need a psychologist to see some truly screwed-up emotional, chemical, and criminal behavior? Yes, Scottie Pippen buying a Gulfstream IV is retarded “ but is an egomaniac who thinks he needs a Gulfstream IV going to hire the right financial planner or buy the right book off Investopod in the first place? It all completely misses the point of what happens when you offer people with no emotional stability piles of cash and massive celebrity because they have one marketable skill. It means nothing to them. How do you financially plan, or even understand what your planner is telling you, when you got through the NCAA on jock passes? How do you financially plan when you’re a violent drunk or a sociopath? Riddix goes thru these people and critiques their spending v. income on a balance sheet. It’s like pointing out to an alcoholic that you get drunk when you drink too much, so don’t drink so much. Mission accomplished. I’m sure all Iron Mike’s problems are answered in a copy of 6 Months to a Better Budget. Writes Riddix:
The king of them all is boxer Mike Tyson, who squandered a $350 to $400 million dollar fortune. So what did “Iron” Mike spend his fortune on? Everything. He dropped half a million dollars on a 420 horsepower Bentley Continental SC with lamb’s wool rugs, a phone and a removable glass roof. It is one of only 73 Bentley Continental SC’s ever built. The sad part is that’s not even the only Bentley that Tyson owned! He spent over $4.5 million dollars on cars alone. Throw in a $2 million dollar bathtub and $140,000 for two Bengal tigers and you can see why Tyson’s fortune is down for the count. He filed for bankruptcy in 2003.
You can learn a lot by watching the poor financial decisions that many athletes have made. While you may never find yourself in Vegas about to drop $20,000 at the roulette wheel, we all have blind spots when it comes to certain types of spending. Looking at these formers millionaires’ rapid decline, you have to wonder when excessive spending goes from a manageable extravagance to a decision that will land you in the poorhouse. (For further reading check out 6 Months To A Better Budget.)