Malcolm Jenkins speaks about the “journey” of learning how to save and grow NFL money

New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears
Getty Images

Plenty of players who make plenty of money in the NFL don’t spend it. They invest it. But that too can end up in the money decreasing in value if not disappearing.

You hear invest, invest, invest, but you really don’t know what that means,” Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins recently told CNBC.

He said he made poor investments early in his career, and that but for his longevity he may not have recovered from the moves he made.

“The harsh reality I had is that I would be broke probably in five or 10 years,” Jenkins said as to the conclusion he drew near the end of his rookie contract. “So for me, it’s been a journey to learn how to not only save your money, how to plan, how to budget but also how to grow your money. . . . Lucky for me. I’ve been in this league long enough where I’ve been able to make enough money to withstand the mistakes that I’ve made.”

It’s a challenge for players to know where to put their money and whom to trust with it. Young men experiencing a major influx of cash become magnets for used car dealers and door to door charlatans.

The problem is hardly unique to players. Former Eagles owner Norman Braman became one of the many supposedly sophisticated victims of high-end flim-flam man Bernie Madoff, who died in prison this week at 82.

Anyone can be conned. The word “con” is shorthand for confidence. The bunco artist inspires confidence in the mark, getting him or her to go all in. The only way to avoid being conned is to be constantly suspicious, and to always have a little voice that will whisper from within, “It sounds too good to be true.”

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. But that nagging sense of “where’s the catch?” becomes very useful when deciding where and how to put money at risk.

Ultimately, it’s about understanding all risks and returns and about appreciating how those risks could come to fruition. Jenkins clearly pivoted to a plan that included better understanding of risks and returns, and it worked for him.

10 responses to “Malcolm Jenkins speaks about the “journey” of learning how to save and grow NFL money

  1. I hope teams these days give players good financial and investment education NOT provided by somebody who has something to sell. Lesson one should be not to invest money with somebody you know or who has buddied up to you since you became a player. Publicly-traded mutual funds from very well-known and long-established companies should be the destination for most of their money and they’ll be fine. It’s not sexy, but the last thing you should want for your nest egg is a sexy factor.

  2. I think a lot of people need to be scared ****less to become financially responsible. There is no feeling like feeling as if you are going to lose everything.

  3. On the 30 for 30 episode “broke” Bart Scott said that he asked Steve bisciotti for a meeting about money and he put him on the right path.

    Why more players don’t do something like that blows me away

    Granted, being handed millions in your early 20’s is something I can’t grasp, but with some basic common sense decisions can put you on the right track.

  4. I get that these young men are usually clueless about this stuff, but it’s not rocket science. If you want to grow your money in as safe a manner as possible and know that you will likely not get taken is to go to the wealth management arm of one of the giant banks. Will you get the best possible returns? No. Will your money disappear down someone else’s luxury item rabbit hole? No.

  5. Everyone says to get good financial advisers and “educate yourself”, but therein lies the problem. Who do you trust? As noted above, Madoff and guys like Charles Keating were successful and trusted, yet they ended up being crooks. Ultimately Investment IS a gamble, even slow growth low risk. It’s a tough learning process with risk.

  6. First and foremost….stay away from family members who don’t have any financial knowledge or training of any kind, (Philip Buchanon’s mom comes to mind, JaMarcus Russell and Vince Young with relatives and pastors are good examples of meddling).

    No need to have an entourage as you will end up being their personal Citibank atm, or have to buy your old crew Bentley’s and what not.

    Then there are bad investments like sports bars, restaurants, car shops (rims, sound systems, and custom paint jobs) torpedo many players financially.

    Protect yourself, (Travis Henry, anybody?) That sets you up for a lifetime of child support among other things. Also, remember De Shaun Watson,

    As for who do you trust, well if you have an agent, have them reach out to the agents of established players, like Brady, Wilson, Fitzgerald, Manning, and inquire who handles their finances and other legal eagle stuff.

    Oh and stay out of the clubs and the unsavory characters that gravitate towards them, remember what Deion said “Nothing good happens in the club at 2 am”

  7. The hardest part if trying not to accumulate assets and toys that they cannot afford once the playing days are over. The first step should be to budget for a lifestyle that can be maintained once the paycheck stops. Then worry about investing. You can’t live a $10 million per year lifestyle if you can only earn that for a few years. That’s where the problems start.

  8. It’s 2021. Read financial books. Listen to financial podcasts. Control your own money. Self education goes a long way. And it’s not very difficult. And it certainly doesn’t have to be complicated.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.