Microsoft’s Raymond Chen usually blogs about interesting things about Windows. He also throws in assorted items about other things, and today he points to some old articles about how professional athletes go broke, despite multi-million-dollar salaries.
One of the articles is an NPR story from May, and it contains this wonderful quote at the beginning:
They see [their salaries] as infinite, like it doesn’t end, like they can’t spend it all,says accountant Scott Bercu, who has handled the finances of professional baseball and basketball players.But, if you get $5 million a year, by the time you get done paying your agent and taxes, you have $2 million left to spend. That goes very quickly.
That goes very quickly, indeed, hm. I should say so! Certainly the last couple of million I saw went away before I even noticed it.
The point of the story is that unlike most highly paid people, these athletes aren’t hired for their business sense, and managing money is, let’s say, not their long suit... and, so, naturally, when they come into enormous salaries, they do what they’ve always done with money: spend it all. They need, the story says, education — just as they get training in playing their sport, they need training in money management.
I don’t know; I find this really hard to accept. Basic, rank stupidity just isn’t something I have much tolerance for, and most people don’t have to be told that even large quantities of limited resources are still limited. It’s hard to have sympathy for someone who’s paid five million dollars,
only has two million left after some necessary expenses, and then finds that the two million just
goes very quickly.
Maybe it’s just schadenfreude, but, no, I have no sympathy at all.