As a Super Bowl champion and standout linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jordan Hicks personally understands just how difficult it is to find a wealth management partner he can trust. A partner who is truly committed to enhancing his livelihood and improving his long-term financial success.
However, like everything, NFL superstardom cannot be achieved without overcoming a fair share of obstacles. Virtually everyone understands the physical and mental demands of a career in the NFL, but far too many people ignore the financial obstacles that most NFL players encounter: investment firms that don’t have professional athletes’ best interests in mind.
Hicks decided to do something that has never been done before. By partnering with NFL safety Chris Maragos and tight end Trey Burton (who also won Super Bowl LII), as well as two credentialed wealth management professionals, Hicks co-founded TopTier Wealth Management.
Speaking with Hicks, we learned about his transition from student-athlete to the professional ranks and monetary advice entering the NFL.
“For me, it was mostly attending different conferences and events like the Senior Bowl or Combine and going through some financial classes that are part of the agenda. I also heard very scary advice about going with a big firm that wouldn’t have my best interests in mind and how important, but difficult it is to find someone you can trust,” he said.
Through its NFL-centric leadership, TopTier Wealth Management offers current and former NFL players a management firm that strives to not only protect them today but also lead them on a path to their brightest future. The management firm focuses on creating long-term, successful financial relationships with its clients. Just as many members of the NFL view each other as family, TopTier attempts to instill a family spirit for every client as well.
— Chris Maragos (@ChrisMaragos) March 19, 2018
The National Football League Players Association does provide education to its clients on financial security as Hicks explained.
“The NFLPA has certainly taken steps in financial education. We have an annual meeting on player benefits. Outside of that, they offer classes in the offseason and externships. It’s great those opportunities and classes exist, however, it’s something you have to choose to attend,” Hicks explained.
Although TopTier’s commitment to the NFL will be its primary focus, the firm refuses to be placed in a one-size-fits-all box. To provide its expertise, knowledge and family-focused relationships to people of all backgrounds, the firm will also be working with individuals and families outside of the NFL.
When a professional athlete first signs his or her contract with an organization (or endorsement deals), Hicks says there are steps to take in order to cover all their bases.
“At TopTier we believe the first thing an athlete should do is have a conversation with a Certified Financial Planner, to adjust their financial plan accordingly. Many problems can occur when there is no plan in place for when the money comes in. This will also have an impact on how the investment portfolio is structured. In our view, it’s very important that financial planning is done in unison with the construction of the investment portfolio. Ideally, these efforts will result in more financial security than ever thought possible,” he informed.
Tales of professional athletes recklessly spending money on cars, homes, jewelry, and a lavish lifestyle are all too common in America sports. Being taken advantage of with high-risk, low-reward investments from family and friends have also become a harsh reality after signing life-changing contracts.
Why have professional athletes been susceptible to fraud and mishandlings of their earnings? The Eagles linebacker was candid in explaining his personal experience.
“I think ultimately it comes down to being a target that people see as potentially vulnerable and lacking financial literacy. Guys often put their trust in people that make promises that sound amazing, but a majority of the time they aren’t true. Due to the lack of financial literacy and significant demands of being a professional athlete, it can be hard for athletes to discern between what is a great idea and terrible one. It just really reiterates the importance of partnering with people you can trust. It’s a big reason why it’s so important Chris, Trey and I are partners at TopTier. We have experience and exposure to things that young NFL players haven’t experienced, but are here to help them navigate through the different situations they face,” Hicks said.
While TopTier Wealth Management is groundbreaking, some may be skeptical to jump on board. Hicks assures his fellow colleagues and potential investors why they should entrust their future to his firm.
“Our emphasis on second career planning for NFL players and providing current NFL players as mentors, are two things that to the best of our knowledge do not exist in the marketplace. Also, our attention to detail in the financial planning process and willingness to go above and beyond to serve our clients in all financial decisions (for both NFL and non-NFL clients) is a differentiator. We strive to not only protect our clients today, but put them on the path to their brightest future,” Hicks concluded.
For more information visit TopTierWealthManagement.com.