Choosing the right wealth advisors is similar to choosing a coach. You want experience, good reputation, and a solid track record for success. (Getty)

This summer, the top pick in the MLB draft, Paul Skenes, received a $9.2M signing bonus to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, breaking the previous record of $8.4M. Not to be outdone, the NBA’s top draft pick, Victor Wembanyana, who is only 19 years old, can expect $50M in salary over his first four years with the San Antonio Spurs. Neither of these figures include their future endorsement deals.

On top of the pressure to perform, “sudden wealth” can also bring a constantly shifting set of choices that have to be made—and there isn’t necessarily a playbook for that. That said, just like athletes have teams of coaches and trainers, sudden millionaires can benefit from a multi-disciplinary team of advisors to manage their new-found wealth for enduring security and prosperity.

Choosing the right wealth advisors is similar to choosing a coach. You want experience, good reputation, and a solid track record for success. Athletes also need to ask themselves: Do I trust these folks? Can I be myself around them? Do they get me? Clear communication and a personal connection are the most important keys to choosing the right team.

We understand that nobody gets to be a pro athlete on their own. There are parents, relatives, coaches, mentors, and friends, who supported you with their time and maybe even money. The best wealth advisors should serve as buffers between you and people within your inner circle. They provide guardrails for peer pressure in and out of the locker room. They help you mitigate “Survivors’ Guilt” in healthy ways, like setting up life insurance, trusts, and estate plans.

Many of UBS’s retired pro athlete clients say how much they needed a role model—an older athlete to guide

them through the business and social pressures that came with the big money. Superstar athletes have to prepare for more unpredictability in their income. They could get injured or stop performing at a high level. Structured wealth planning for athletes can help create safety nets for careers that are, by their nature, short, even without injury or bad luck.

It’s important to know that wealth advisory isn’t just for hard times. With the new NIL rules, college athletes can now earn a living from their talent long before they turn pro. Former Alabama QB Bryce Young had a $1M portfolio before his first snap with the Crimson Tide. According to On3, 12 college players went into the 2022 season with sponsorship deals well above $1M.

There is a growing awareness within the entire sports ecosystem that better financial and emotional support is owed to our rising talented athletes. That’s why the UBS Athletes & Entertainers Strategic Client Segment created a Sudden Wealth whitepaper , to provide guidance on how these individuals can overcome the potential guilt sudden wealth can bring and stay on track for financial success. UBS’s goal is to ensure athletes and entertainers can manage their wealth in a way that gives them security, choices, and the flexibility to pursue the life they want, on or off the field.

Main contributor: Tricia Juhn

For more, visit the Athletes and Entertainers homepage.

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Approval Date: 8/22/2023

Expiration: 8/31/2024

Review Code: IS2305091