Search Our Smart Money
|Sign up to receive Our Smart Money|
By Christina Harrison and Judy Howell
Wow, what a year! The Big Blue has had a great time, from the announcement that each of you would be a part of this team to cutting the nets down in New Orleans. We appreciate all that you have done and all that you have given up to win us another National Championship.
I am a mother, first and foremost. As a mother, I feel like you are mine, too. Every time one of you fell to the floor, in pain, I cringed (yes, I know everyone did!). Not because losing you would mean the end of our dream of an eighth title (well, maybe just a little), but because of what an injury could mean for you – would it be one that lasted just a few games or one that would plague you for years? Would it impact your NBA chances? Parents hurt for their children when something like that happens, and I would have hurt for you. Thankfully, it didn’t happen to any of you, and all six are in a position to realize your dream of playing in the NBA. Which makes me worry for you in a different way.
You are so young, and you will have the money to buy just about anything you want. It sounds great, but in reality, I’m not so sure it is. Why do about one-third of lottery winners find themselves in serious financial trouble or bankruptcy five years afterward? Because they think the amount of money they have won is enormous and won’t ever be gone.
You have already won the lottery … the genetic lottery. I know that you worked and practiced hard (harder than any of us can probably begin to know), but you still had some help from your parents. It doesn’t matter how much I practice or lift weights, I will still be a 5’1” woman with very little vertical leap. So, before you get too caught up in the moment, sit back and listen:
1. Remember that the only thing money does for you is give you options …. It doesn’t make you play well or make you happy or keep anyone from getting sick. It does let you choose where you live and what you drive, and it may keep you from worrying as much if someone you love does get sick. So, take some money and spend it, but save as much as you can. Don’t get caught up in trying to outdo someone – somebody out there will always have more money than you do. Bentley or Mercedes will always have a new car with new features out next year. Leave yourself something to want…. It makes life more interesting and satisfying.
2. Make sure that the decisions you make look as good in the light of day as they do in the dark of night. We all make mistakes, and that is part of living and growing. But try to make sure these are mistakes that don’t ruin your life. Own up to your mistakes, then try to do better. You will be approached by so many people, offering you so many things. Learn to say NO!
3. Be gracious and humble. It costs nothing to be kind. People will love you for it.
4. To whom much is given, much is expected. And I’m not just talking about writing a check. Make a difference wherever you are. Get in there and get dirty. I know that you didn’t necessarily sign up to be a role model, but you are. See rule No. 2.
5. Don’t believe your press, good or bad. Be realistic in your assessment of yourself, both on and off the court. Be sure you have someone close who is brave enough to tell you the truth. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” You need to remember that in the best of times and in the worst of times.
So, remember, live simply, save for the future (you have a lot of that ahead of you), and be kind to others and yourself.
From what I have seen, all six of you have been unselfish and are not given to putting yourself above others. You are ahead of a lot of young men and women your age. Remember to continue to live that way.
Be careful and safe.
Christina Harrison and Judy Howell, H2 Investments, are affiliated with First Kentucky Securities Corporation (member FINRA, SIPC). They have over 25 years of experience assisting individuals in meeting their investment and retirement goals.