Financial Independence from Agent
If you are at the point in your career where you are contemplating hiring a professional financial advisor, the first decision to make is whether to involve your agent in the process. My experience says NO! I have been swimming in the pool with sports agents for over thirty years as a player and as a financial advisor for players, and I have discovered far too many instances where the connection between agents and other professionals has been financially detrimental to the athlete. This is the first point where my advice is based on avoiding potential financial problems. Your agent may be a great guy but letting your choice of a financial advisor be influenced by anyone other than yourself and your family, is a potential financial problem. Areas for concern here are that your agent may not know as much about the financial business as you think and may therefore not be qualified to weigh-in on the subject, and, your agent may have a personal or financial interest in you hiring an employee, an associate, or an acquaintance, of his.
"Financial Independence From Agent" is a philosophy for the most efficient way to construct a team of professionals to represent an athlete's professional and financial interests. The goal of this philosophy is to ensure that the professionals hired by the athlete are obligated only to the athlete. It is accomplished by hiring individual professionals that were evaluated independently, for each specific need that they fill. The concept of "Financial Independence from Agent" is similar to how a pro sports roster works. If you were a head coach, you wouldn't choose players based on referrals. You would run interested players through a series of qualification filters and choose the ones most qualified for the job. This philosophy contradicts an outdated and dangerous method of professional team building which was to hire one professional (usually the agent) and then inherit the other required professionals, from the first one. When hired professionals are bundled together or connected, the potential for sinister agendas or obligations to persons other than the athlete-client, is much more prevalent.
The benefits of removing your agent and his pals from your financial advisor search and hiring your own independent people are as follows.
- The professional team members will be accountable only to you.
- The evaluation and hiring procedures will educate you greatly about those businesses.
- The professional team members will have met your personal expectations for professionalism, knowledge, experience and personal character.
- You will have greater control and flexibility with the professional team members.
The following schematic is an example of this independent approach to professional team building.