When a lot of guys come into the NFL, money management, investing— it isn’t first nature to them. It wasn’t something their parents ever taught them because it wasn’t something they knew.
When I was growing up, my parents didn’t really give much advice about money. Honestly, because we didn’t have much of it. So, when I figured out that they’d pay you a lot of money to play the game, I mean, that was just kind of a plus.
My checking account was in the negative when I deposited my signing bonus which was like $200,000.
To go from nothing to having this much—it’s challenging to try to grasp the concept of money that quickly; to say that I’m not going to blow this money frivolously. I’m going to invest it correctly. I’m going to save it.
Figuring that stuff out; that’s the most difficult part of professional sports.
This is where colleges could really do their players a service; they need to teach guys the basics. They need to show them things like how credit works, how to pay bills, etc. Some people get out of college and don’t know how to pay rent or how to write a check.
I didn’t have that kind of education available to me at the time.
I’ve developed kind of a rule for myself: I usually try to save 60 percent of my money and then 40 percent I can spend as I please. When I make investments, I do so after completing my own research. That way, when it works out, I feel great. When it doesn’t, I still feel great because I know I put in the work and made the most-informed decision I could.
My approach to investing is not too unlike the path I took to make it to the NFL. People like to say that getting to this level of the game is a one in a million shot. Those kinds of stats don’t matter to me. I’m a one in a trillion kind of guy, anyway.
But I worked hard and made every effort to be better than everyone else. It was my dream. It was what I aspired to, so I made it happen.
I like to think everyone should look at themselves as capable of conquering every dream and aspiration that we have. Because if you are not going to believe, then why should anyone else?