Welcome to the Money Smart Athlete Blog

Welcome to the Money Smart Athlete Blog

1 December, 2018

Sports have become one of the most popular global activities, attracting the attention of millions of people.  This growth is producing more and more powerful social icons that have considerable influence in society.  Athletes serve as role models for the youth that follow the sport and admire their heroes.

Financial wealth and personal influence can be used towards positive social development and athletes have a long track record of aligning themselves with charitable causes, something that has become a standard, part of their endorsement deals, and an expectation with team management.  An athlete’s influence or “endorsement” can quickly turn an otherwise unknown cause into an important, mainstream issue.  Usually athletes that excel at the highest levels of sport have the platform and opportunity to be able to inspire, motivate, and leverage their celebrity to make a difference in causes and issues that are important to them.

This month we want to guide benevolent Money Smart Athletes in planning and creating tax efficient philanthropic strategies which align with their personal mission and the legacy they want to leave behind.  Our advice to athletes is to support and donate to causes they believe in, strategically and/or through organized philanthropy, thus helping to build the kind of social capital and social finance that will last for generations.

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

 

1 November, 2018

Learning to live and save within your means and knowing how to manage money are some of the most important life skills you will ever master. Adopting good spending habits and sound saving strategies will guide you towards a balanced and complete life.

As an athlete, you are considered lucky because you earn a lot more money than average. At the same time though, the money that athletes like yourself earn, come with a huge disadvantage; they are earned in a shorter time period than that of any other career and they are unpredictably uneven. Therefore good money management is imperative from the early days of your sports career to ensure that you will be able to afford a good life after your sports career ends.

This month we want to alert Money Smart Athletes to the necessity of learning, adopting and practicing good money management habits from day one of their sports career. Some of the best money management habits that Money Smart Athletes can adopt are those of living and saving within their means, while at the same time they create alternative sources of income through investing. Good money management will definitely give Money Smart Athletes a head start in their financial game plan!

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 October, 2018

 

Entrepreneurship is a post sports career option chosen by a number of retired athletes.  Many athletes see entrepreneurship as an exciting challenge with lucrative wealth generating prospects; and it is, if you are someone who is a risk taker, likes to create, loves to work and does not mind being constantly out of their comfort zone.  The truth is that the qualities athletes develop throughout their athletic career are similar to those required when setting up a business venture. In addition, athletes usually have the added advantage of a large network which may very well serve as a target market for their prospective business ventures.

The decision to pursue entrepreneurship should not be taken lightly.  Entrepreneurship is not all ‘roses’. Yes, it does offer flexibility, excitement, prospects of earning big but at the same time it is risky, it requires many skills, discipline, courage, patience and persistence.  When planning your entrepreneurial endeavors you should be prepared to go through periods of struggle which, hopefully, will not last longer than the start-up phase.

This month we wish to give Money Smart Athletes the necessary tools to help them decide whether entrepreneurship is right for them; and in case they determine that entrepreneurship is the way forward, we want to introduce them to the basics of successful entrepreneurship as well as their entrepreneurial options.

 

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 September, 2018

The passion athletes have for their sport is unparalleled and hard to be replaced. Unfortunately, retirement from sport at a fairly young age is a reality in the lives of most athletes. And, if retirement is voluntary, it means that the athlete is rather prepared for his/her life after sports. In most cases though, retirement from sport is not voluntary and it is accompanied with many emotional and financial challenges.

Retirement from sport, especially at a young age, carries a number of negative side effects which include depression, addiction and suicidal tendencies. It is important for athletes to be prepared to deal with all the negative aspects of early retirement and create appropriate support systems which will help them maintain their mental, physical and financial health.

This month we want to help Money Smart Athletes get retirement-ready and give them the tools to smoothly transition to life after sport. As a Money Smart Athlete it is important that you develop and implement a comprehensive retirement plan from the very beginning of your professional sports career; a plan which will cater for a second career and the accumulation of wealth in the early stages of your professional sports career. Creating and implementing such a plan would ensure both emotional and financial stability in the long-term.

Athena P. Constantinou
E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 August, 2018

Personal financial planning is affected by several macroeconomic factors.  Therefore when you plan your financial lives, you should take into account conditions in the wider economy and in the markets that make up the economy.

As a Money Smart Athlete it is important to develop your own understanding of the economy and the factors shaping it and have an idea of where the economy is headed so that you can plan your finances and your career accordingly.  There are a number of financial health indicators through which you can understand the trends of the economy.  These systemic factors include business cycles, employment rates and currency values.

This month we want to raise the Money Smart Athletes’ awareness on how the state of the economy may affect their financial lives.  Understanding large-scale economic patterns and factors that indicate the health of an economy can help Money Smart Athletes make better financial decisions which will contribute positively to their overall financial freedom plan!

 

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 July, 2018

Athletes are facing different types of risks due to the special nature of their circumstances. It is an absolute necessity for athletes to insure themselves and their assets and thus hedge against these different types of risks.

It is important for athletes to identify and manage potential risks so that they can take measures to protect themselves. As a Money Smart Athlete, you can protect yourself and your personal finances in a number of ways whether that means buying different types of insurance to cover basic and sport specific needs, protecting your wealth and your family or limiting the disastrous financial effects of a divorce.

This month, we want you to understand that as a professional athlete, your sports career will constantly develop and transition and so will your insurance needs. Proper insurance will protect your financial future by reducing your risk and the right insurance advisor will proactively manage your insurance program and adapt it to the changing realities of your life. Life is full of risks but those who take proper action to hedge against them are the ones who excel and become successful!

 

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 June, 2018

There are important lessons to be learned from a plethora of athletes who have financially failed.  A common denominator often, is the trust athletes have placed in the wrong professionals.  We have all heard of a number of cases all over the world, where lawyers, accountants, investment advisors, agents, etc have defrauded athletes by advising them to invest in various potentially “high and fast profit” schemes.  In a lot of cases, athletes not only lost the money they invested but also ended up being accused of tax fraud.

During different stages of your life, you will have to interact with many professionals who will help you with your athletic, financial and business endeavors.  Creating the right team of trusted, reputable, and established professionals within any given field is important to your success.  Once you have the proper team in place, your advisors will support your efforts in ways you can’t accomplish alone.

This month, we want to raise your awareness as to the type and caliber of advisors you need in your support team.   We want you to be aware that being surrounded by the right people will take you places and will make you a winner, not just in your sport, but in life as well!

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 May, 2018

 

As a Money Smart Athlete, it is very important that you develop an understanding about how banks work so that you can manage your banking to your best interest.  Properly managed bank accounts can reduce expenses and protect your information.  There are different types of bank accounts which can help you get your finances in order.  We want to guide you through your options so that you have the knowledge to make the right choices.

Nowadays, making purchases on credit is a major part of everyday life, to the point that it is frequently abused and transformed into excessive debt which is out of control and not manageable.  We want to make Money Smart Athletes aware of the different ‘debt traps’ and more importantly, to advise them on how to avoid such traps.  Any debt in general, is not good.  However, there are some types of debt that are considered good because of the investment value they hold.  By understanding ‘good’ and ‘bad’ debt Money Smart Athletes will be able to utilize debt when and where it best suits their overall financial plan.

This month, we want to educate you, the Money Smart Athlete, on the basics of banking, credit and debt so that we help you in choosing a bank with which you can grow over time.  We want to guide you in creating and maintaining a positive credit record which we consider as the cornerstone of building your financial foundation.  And remember, managing your money and finances well today, is key to achieving financial freedom tomorrow!

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 April 2018

 

The tax problems of professional athletes are a recurring theme. The mobility, short career span and public exposure of athletes, create unique tax challenges which need to be handled carefully. Unfortunately, most athletes do not have the background, nor are familiar with the complexities inherent to tax systems. This ignorance, coupled with lack of guidance, can sometimes get athletes into trouble!

The complications of the tax issues faced by athletes include the filing of multiple tax returns, perhaps in various countries if they are competing internationally, or in various states if they are competing in the United States. Even the most sophisticated and financially literate athletes cannot cope with handling tax compliance obligations of such complexity. Additionally, athletes are in the public eye because everyone, including the tax authorities, knows how much they make and where they have been competing.

This month, we want to educate you, the Money Smart Athlete, to deal with your tax situation effectively and efficiently. We know that you cannot do this alone! Your dream of being a professional athlete should include a competent tax advisor by your side. You definitely need to have the guidance, support and help of a competent tax advisor, who can protect you from the minefields of taxation while maximizing your hard-earned money!

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 March 2018

 

Setbacks are part of everyday life, and the manner in which they are dealt with contributes greatly to the resulting outcomes of such setbacks. Athletes have more than their fair share in setbacks, especially financial ones, which unfortunately sometimes may even result in complete financial failure, with devastating effects. The financial failure of athletes is a much discussed problem due to its magnitude.

This month we are addressing the issue of financial setbacks and failure of Money Smart Athletes and how they can bounce back positively. During their athletic training, Money Smart Athletes develop unique strengths which if applied to situations of financial distress, can help them take control of their financially challenging situation and get into a positive recovery mode faster.

Through this month’s articles, we want to guide Money Smart Athletes on how to deal with financial distress situations positively, and help them recover and get their lives back on track, as quickly as possible.

 

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 February 2018

Bad investment decisions contribute greatly to the financial problems of professional athletes.  Unfortunately, athletes are an easy target for many shady financial predators, who promise them ‘sweet deals’ with huge returns in a short period of time.

This month we deal with the basics of investing and how Money Smart Athletes can create successful investment strategies and plans, in accordance to their values, which will help them generate enough income to support the lifestyle they envision and lead them to financial freedom.  With so many ‘get rich quick’ schemes out there which try to sell the improbable dream, Money Smart Athletes need to have the knowledge which will help them make educated decisions for themselves and control their emotional responses to risk and the market.

We believe that knowledge forms the foundation of any successful investment strategy.  We hope that we will give Money Smart Athletes the tools to help them invest wisely and make their money work for them!

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

1 January 2018

Personal financial planning is a lifelong process. You will be making financial decisions all your life. Sometimes you will foresee situations and plan deliberately; sometimes, well, things just happen and you will be forced to make instant decisions. Creating your financial freedom plan means making deliberate decisions now that will allow you to get closer to your goals while reflecting the realities of being a professional athlete.

The Money Smart Athlete’s personal financial planning process is rather simple: You figure out where you are now financially, you decide where you want to be financially in different phases of your life and you devise a plan of how to get from where you are now to where you want to go. The difficult part is to have the necessary discipline, consistency and flexibility to stick to your plan, re-evaluate it when necessary and respond to unanticipated needs and desires in a logical manner.

This month we are helping you, the Money Smart Athlete, create your financial freedom plan, your organized strategy for maintaining financial health and accomplishing financial goals. Developing your financial freedom plan will not only allow you to control your financial situation; it will enhance your quality of life and it will definitely reduce any uncertainty you may feel about money-related issues and future needs.

Athena P. Constantinou

E-mail: athena@apc-sport.com

December 1, 2017

Family, society and culture play a huge role in the development of the athlete’s financial psychology. Money is a social tool and our attitudes, beliefs and practices connected with it, are heavily influenced by the people who surround us. In addition, the pursuit of money is all about trying to meet either emotional or psychological desires.

A large number of athletes with modest financial backgrounds and means, come to “sudden wealth” when they turn professional. Their decisions on how to handle this sudden wealth are influenced largely by their financial beliefs and the expectations of society. We want to make the Money Smart Athlete aware of the power that financial beliefs and society pressures have on their financial behavior and lifestyle choices and what it takes for their financial behavior to change and improve.

This month, we are dealing with the Money Smart Athlete’s financial psychology. We want to give Money Smart Athletes the tools to understand and assess their money personalities and take corrective action, as well as empower them to withstand societal pressures and expectations. With proper guidance and support, Money Smart Athletes will be able to modify their financial beliefs and formulate winning financial strategies that can lead them to financial independence.

Athena P. Constantinou

Email: athena@apc-sport.com

November 1, 2017

The athlete’s brand is an integral part of the athlete’s career.  An athlete’s brand is their promise to their audience.  It tells their audience what they can expect from them, and it differentiates them from the rest of their kind.

Through the ages, humankind has sought out leaders in various fields.  Sports celebrities, as societal leaders are in the advantageous position to utilize their famous image and their influence for their own benefit.  The preferences and advocacies of sports celebrities, influence consumption patterns and allow them to use their fame to make money.  Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity which means the added value allows athletes to charge the commercial use of their image at much higher rates than the rest of their peers.

This month, we are focusing on building, protecting and commercializing the Money Smart Athlete’s brand.  Money Smart Athletes should be aware that developing their brand and working on their personal marketing strategy will help them stay up-to-date and in the spotlight after their athletic career ends, thus contributing to their lifelong financial success.

Athena P. Constantinou

Email: athena@apc-sport.com

The family of the Money Smart Athlete is an integral component of the athlete’s success.  The lives of athletes go through transitions and changes in a much faster pace than those of everyday people.  The families of athletes are very much affected by such changes and transitions.

Apart from being on the road and on a strict training schedule, there is always the possibility of the athlete being traded, or signing up with a new team in another city or another country, the possibility of sustaining temporary or career-ending injuries, the possibility of losing endorsement or playing contracts leading to financial instability, and so forth.

With the challenges of the athletes’ unique lifestyle in mind, we believe that it is of utmost importance for athletes to protect their families and hedge against the above unforeseen situations.

This month we focus on the Money Smart Athlete’s family needs and share our thoughts on how Money Smart Athletes can ensure that their families are protected from the unique challenges of professional sports life.

September 19 2017

I am very excited about the launching of this blog which is a labor of love, vision and hard work. I have been working with athletes from all continents for over 20 years and throughout my career, I have witnessed the financial fall of many great athletes who had been earning substantial amounts of money during their sports career.

The financial vulnerability of athletes is a real problem which I believe can only be tackled by cultivating financial literacy as a life skill; a skill that will help them make sound financial decisions and give them confidence over their financial lives.

My personal mission, as the founder of the APC Sports Financial Literacy Academy (www.apc-sfla.com) is to guide, support and protect athletes in the international cross border sports business so that they realize their full potential and thrive financially.

I derive great satisfaction in helping athletes attain financial freedom and leading fulfilling and financially secure lives after sport. I hope that through this blog I will be able to reach out and help even more great athletes from different corners of the world become Money Smart Athletes!

Athena P. Constantinou

Email: athena@apc-sport.com