CONGRATULATIONS! You have just signed your 1st professional contract and achieved a lifelong dream of yours. An exciting and promising career awaits you although it has no doubt taken hard work, perseverance, discipline, a positive mind and a sheer desire to succeed no matter what the cost.
Coupled with this opportunity – is the constant expectation to perform at your peak and your new found fame & fortune to deal with. Not only is it challenging to perform consistently but the fame & fortune usually serves as a distraction – albeit, a welcome or unwelcomed one. It is therefore vital that you learn to handle the fame as soon as possible and invest your fortune wisely so that you can devote your attention to what really matters – playing and having fun.
I can’t give any advice on how to handle the fame but here are some simple tips regarding investing wisely:
- Overspending: prevent overspending by drawing up a budget of your monthly income and expenses. Don’t feel the need to break the bank in order to keep up with your fellow teammates or friends. Ensure that you earn more than you spend and depending on the life you want to live, save and invest accordingly.
- Save and Invest: consult a professional (like www.friendsinsport.co.za) to assist you in: determining your goals, quantifying them, devising a plan, putting it into action. For example, you may want to save a certain % or amount of your monthly income or you may want to buy a property-to-let and then you will need to decide how you long you want to invest and in what would you like to invest in. There are several options but most commonly include: pension and provident funds, unit trusts, equities, property, starting your own business. The general rule is the higher the risk, the higher the reward. Depending on your risk appetite a balance would be ideal. Whatever you decide to invest in, ensure you understand what you are doing.
- Educate yourself: whether you buy books to read, surf the net or register at a tertiary institution – ensure that you are educating yourself in whatever you would like to get involved in beyond your playing career.
- Don’t be too giving: it is a blessing to give and help others but don’t be generous to a point that you end up living beyond your means. As a professional you tend to be an easy target but remember your career as a professional is limited and therefore you need to save and invest as much as possible.
- Reward yourself: you have worked hard to get where you are so reward yourself with little extravagances and celebrate your personal triumphs. Not only will it keep you motivated, it will inspire you to be better!
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin