Financial Advice for Athletes: an Interview with Ulrick Edmonds

Learning how to deal with finances is important for everyone, but for athletes, it is especially important. While most people can stay in the same profession for decades if they want to, professional athletes only have a limited amount of years that they can earn a living from playing sports. Not only this, but professional athletes are often faced with the difficult challenge of handling a large amount of money at a young age. How professional athletes deal with their finances can make a big impact later in their lives. This is why I’m excited to share with you my interview with Ulrick Edmonds, who is a financial advisor that specializes in helping professional athletes. Here is my conversation with Ulrick. I hope you enjoy it!

SPT: Hello Ulrick, could you tell me a little about what you do as a financial advisor?

UE: As a financial advisor, my primary focus is to partner with professional athletes who are fortunate enough to play the game that they love for a living. My main goal is to make sure that everyone that I work with can enjoy life now and after they retire from sports. Ultimately, I want to help my clients be able to leave a legacy for generations after them.

SPT: What would you say is your philosophy that guides your advising?

UE: My philosophy is relationship-based. By building trust with my clients and prioritizing their goals and satisfaction, I can form long-term working relationships. Seeing my clients grow and reach their goals is what brings me the most joy as a financial advisor.

SPT: What do you think is most important for helping athletes with their finances?

UE: We make sure that our clients tell us what the life they want to live looks like. Then we are strategic in the ways we help them maintain that lifestyle far beyond the years they are professional athletes. Secondly, we always make sure our clients know how they spend money and what they spend money on. A simple exercise of writing down the money that is spent monthly allows our clients to understand what their attitude is towards the money they have worked so hard to earn. From that exercise, we have conversations about the likelihood of a sustained lifestyle now and after their careers with their current spending habits.

SPT: What problems have you seen most throughout your career?

UE: The number one problem is thinking that there is an endless supply of money. Many other problems stem from not having a strategic plan and not partnering with a professional that has your best interest in the forefront of their financial planning. If you don’t have a plan, you’re bound to mismanage your finances at some point in the future.  

I’d also say that problems arise when athletes attempt to do all their financial planning on their own. Professional athletes, just like doctors, lawyers, engineers, and business owners need to “stay in their lane” and do what they do best. If you need open-heart surgery you would not go on YouTube to do it yourself. Athletes should partner up with a trusted individual to help them with their financial planning so they can focus more on the sport that they love.

SPT: What advice would you give to young, motivated athletes and their parents?

UE: Read as much as you can about things other than your craft. Life to me is so much more than what I do daily. Whether I’m helping my family, a professional athlete, or a friend, I want to be able to add value to the conversation and the relationships that I have. Value does not only come from what you do as a job, but also from what you bring to the table as a person to make your interactions with others amazing. My trusted way is to read and gain knowledge to connect with others in deeper ways.

SPT: What advice would you give pro athletes in the middle of their career?

UE: Simple – Think of being in the middle of your career like having a bye week as a professional athlete. On bye weeks, athletes typically do maintenance on their bodies while coaches review their schemes. From a financial standpoint, we recommend doing the same thing as an individual embarking on something new and exciting. Make the time to revisit your “why” and your goals so you can improve your financial plan. This will greatly help you move on to the next phase of your life when the time comes.

SPT: What advice would you give to former athletes preparing for retirement?

UE: It depends where you are. We face two types of athletes that are preparing for retirement. The individuals that have done a good job of preparing for this phase in their life and the individuals that have not done a good job preparing for this phase in their life.

In the first scenario, we are being strategic in our wealth distribution plan and preparing to be good stewards of the resources that will be coming in from any business ventures, companies, and organizations that our clients partner with.

In the second scenario, we are starting most likely from the beginning and implementing the strategies moving forward that will allow our clients to live a great life now and prepare for the future financially. Let’s be honest, most of these individuals are between 22 – 32 years old. They have a whole lot of life ahead of them and the sky's the limit.

SPT: How could coaches and teams do a better job helping athletes deal better with their finances?

UE: I believe we need to expose athletes to financial education that teaches: 

  • What a budget is and how to make one.

  • What a credit card is and what their pros and cons are for the short term and long term.

  • The two types of interest (interest that is for us and interest that is against us).

  • How to grow safe money, aggressive money, and home-run money.

This is just the start and it is so simple, but 95% of our community has to learn about these concepts through trial and error, which isn’t the most efficient way of learning. Being more proactive and providing better education on these basic concepts will go a long way in building the financial literacy that is lacking in our society today.

If you want to learn more about financial advising, I encourage you to contact Ulrick Edmonds. Here is his contact information:

Twitter: @UlrickEdmonds

Personal website

Phone number: 1-434-262-1905