The topic of financial wellness has become increasingly acute. Finance guru, Gary Peart, implored the nation’s athletes to invest as a means of securing financial wellness. The COVID-19 Pandemic has massively impacted sporting events and athletes’ earning potential over the past year.
Peart, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mayberry Investments, the JOA key investment partner, as well as Chairman of Supreme Ventures Group, emphasised the importance of investments and methods in doing so during the JOA’s Webinar Series ‘The Road to Tokyo 2021, Keeping the Dream Alive’.
“You should plan for retirement as early as you can and in the same way you should start investing as early as possible, the two go hand in hand,” Peart instructed as he delivered on the topic, Money Making Moves’.
“Most people spend a lot of time making money, but not enough time thinking how am I going to invest that money,” he added. “The earlier you invest the better your returns.”
Many of Jamaica’s sportsmen and sportswomen, especially those in track and field and netball, are ranked among the best in the world and earn from competition at top events around the globe.
Peart said while they earn more than “ordinary professionals”, sporting athletes get paid upfront and intrinsically. Sporadic compensation presents investment challenges if one lacks the knowledge, discipline and experience suited for a lifelong financial plan. This is different for most professionals working a ‘9-5’ job, whose pension is automatically secured with salary withdrawals.
Athletes Need A Team
“Because of the time a lot of them spent on top of their field, a lot of the basic things that would help them with investing they didn’t have time for it. Some people might not have finished high school, university, (not) have a Master’s and they might not necessarily have the right professional team around them and that creates a recipe for disaster,” he warned.
The key to financial wellness, he explained, comes by way of proper financial planning/managing. That involves “planning, organising, controlling and monitoring our financial resources to achieve our goals”.
Tantamount to game plan, Peart advised that an investment must be geared to carry one strongly past the finish line.
“You have to sit and think about how many years am I going to be earning at this level and then after my career is finished what is my cash flow going to fall to and then how am I going to survive after my sporting career,” he challenged. “That sets the stage about how much of the money now you should start to put away and the more money you put away now is the larger it’s going to be at your retirement.”
Take Sleep and Mark Death
Peart, who has over 20 years of corporate finance and planning experience, shared some investment options. They include stocks, as equities are usually considered appropriate with a medium to long-term outlook; bonds; mutual funds; real estate; as well as Mayberry’s MMEP or Mayberry’s Individual Retirement Scheme.
Additionally, he said best results are achievable with various options to counter the risk factor involved with investments.
“It is recommended to spread our investments between a mix of financial instruments so as to properly manage risks. In so doing, the investor’s portfolio will be diversified, there will be decreased risks, and there may be added benefit due to changes in currency valuation,” he said.
Explaining how beneficial diversification may become, Peart informed that one heavily invested in real estate could develop an illness or need for quick cash for even reinvestment and have difficulty liquidating assets promptly to fit that pressing need.
“You do not know what tomorrow holds. Diversification planning is essential. It doesn’t matter how great the return is on stock; you need to have some short term stock in the event of an emergency or other opportunities,” he said.
Other speakers delivering on the topic ‘The Road to Tokyo 2021, Keeping the Dream Alive’, were Christopher Samuda, President, JOA, who addressed ‘leadership and the changing dynamics’; former national sprinter, Juliet Campbell, Manager, Sports Marketing, Puma International, who addressed ‘corporate sponsorship in athlete development’; and national gymnast Danusia Francis, who addressed pivot and training in the new normal.