Financial Advice from the School of Hard Knocks

By Eddie Greenblat, Fall 2018 IAC Student Intern

I look forward to the show Hard Knocks every year. The show is a 5-part documentary that details one NFL team’s training camp experience. This year the show highlighted the Cleveland Browns. The Browns, which had a 1-31 record over the past two seasons, had some excitement coming into this season. Most people wanted to watch how the team handled Baker Mayfield, the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. One thing I did not expect was a crash course in money management.

The first episode had a segment where Carl Nassib, a defensive lineman from Pennsylvania State University, explained to his teammates how they could turn $1 million into $64 million by the time they retire. Here is a link to Mr. Nassib’s explanation but be warned that this explanation is full of colorful language.

Nassib wasn’t quite on point with his explanation though. Most savings accounts only return somewhere between .08 to 1.5 percent interest as opposed to the 10% interest mentioned in the clip. Nassib also highlights how compound interest can be a player’s best friend. Compounding interest results in the principle investment growing faster than if the investment received simple interest.

Nassib also spends a portion of his lecture highlighting how financial advisors take 1% of everything and if players just use this strategy they can save that money. Nassib is on the right track, but his explanation is not quite correct. This lack of financial literacy among athletes, specifically NFL Players, is a problem that NFL is trying to address. The NFL has a website that provides players with resources such as links to FINRA and Money Management International. Doing your own research and asking questions is important.