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Athletes and their Financial Health

CEO and President of Finemark Bank David Highmark Discusses the Importance of an Athlete's Financial Desionmaking

With over 25 years of experience partnering with athletes to assist with their financial goals, David Highmark and his team at Finemark Bank understand the habits, challenges and pressures that finances play in the lives of athletes.

 "I was a professional baseball player and have been around athletes all my life. The typical athlete has a difficult time saying no to family and friends. Consequently they end up too often supporting failed ventures and losing money," Highmark said.

One of our important roles Highmark takes on when partnering with an athlete, is reviewing investment opportunities that frequently are presented to him or her. As a banker/lender for 40 yrs, he has a keen sense of what will fail and succeed. He is key in evaluating the investments and of equal importance, be the “ bad guy” in communicating the rejection to the those requesting new capital, "This helps the athlete preserve their relationship with a friend, family member."

Four ways Finemark Bank Assists its Athletes

1.  Investments: We treat these athletes like they are 60 years old and nearing retirement. We always assume that their current contract is their last contract and they will no longer remotely make the significant income when the contract expires. Consequently like any worker nearing retirement, we need to structure an investment portfolio that is significantly more conservative than the typical 30 year old. They cannot afford to take big losses.  We begin crafting a portfolio that will create a stream of income for the remainder of their day soon they may need to live off of this retirement income. 

2. Taxes: We are very involved in organizing taxes by tracking all related tax deductible expenses. This is particularly cumbersome for the golfers who are independent contractors and need to record every golf related expense while on the road playing tournaments or tracking non-tournament expenses (coaches, trainers, agent fees, etc) . Tax returns are required for every state they play in thus income and expenses incurred in each state need to be recorded. Our involvement in this alleviates considerable stress and allows them to focus on their game.

3. Lending: Many athletes have trouble qualifying for traditional loans because of the uncertainly of their income . We have been in this business for decades and are able to mitigate the risks and approve loans which many other institutions struggle with.

4. Other Miscellaneous Services: Reviewing their insurance program and recommending changes where needed; reviewing their estate plans; bill paying; Cash flow and Retirement Planning.

Above all else, trust is crucial when building a relationship with a client who is an athlete. After all, this is a group that is notorious for attracting advisors who have only their own best interests in mind.

"A testament to the trust that we have earned: we have 175 athletes and 100% have been referred by fellow clients, their agents or other professionals in the community. We have never marketed our services to athletes in order to build the business. We are very proud of that," Highmark said.

Additional services for athletes at Finemark Bank:

-Review trust and wills where they exist and recommend updating based on life changes...or assist in setting up an estate plan where none exists.

- Bill paying: Because of an athlete's extensive travel schedules, this is a very popular service.