20 Famous Athletes and Their Worst Investment Blunders
It's no secret that professional athletes make boatloads of money both on the field and through lucrative endorsement deals, but what many fans don't realize is that these big-money stars often blow all their cash in spectacularly bad business ventures.
Professional athletes love making off-field investments, whether for retirement or for fun, but sometimes masquerading as Donald Trump winds up leaving these guys (and gals) in more debt than they could have ever imagined. Typically, these horrible business investments stem from famous athletes' associations with non-investment professionals, including friends, family members, other celebrities, and ever-mysterious "business advisors." It's a shocking revelation: being young, rich and famous doesn't always equate to having sound business judgment (or immunity from scams).
For all the rich athletes out there reading this post: we hope you learn from our list below and invest your cash in a proven business model such as franchise opportunities or just stash it away in index funds someplace.
This star centerfielder was made famous for miraculously robbing home runs by climbing the fence. Hunter said he invested $70,000 in an inflatable raft invention. According to Sports Illustrated, "The pitch was that when high-rainfall areas were flooded, consumers could pump up the device, allowing a sofa to float and remain dry." Turns out it was Hunter taking the bath, however: "The guy I invested with came back and wanted me to put in more, about $500,000,'" he says.
The Notre Dame grad nicknamed "Rocket" appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice during his career. Could the SI cover curse extend to business ventures? In 1991, Ismail sank $300,000 into a Hard Rock Cafe franchise /Planet Hollywood knockoff called "Rock N' Roll Café." Rocket, like so many other pro ball players, was assured by his advisor that the concept was "fail-proof, with no downsides." Turns out, not so much according to Sports Illustrated's How (and Why) Athlete's Go Broke.
This famously convicted NFL quarterback may have gone to jail for dog fighting, but this wasn't all he was in trouble for. Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last July and recently put his suburban Atlanta mansion on the market. The trouble? Vick was unable to repay $6 million in loans that he took out to invest in a number of businesses, including a car-rental operation in Indiana, a real estate venture in Canada, and a wine shop in Georgia.