Shaquille O’neal’s long career in the NBA has yielded quite a few dividends for his life. Clearly, he’s become wealthy, but it might not have been that way were it not for some meaningful intervention. An article on TimeToFocus.com describes it accurately by stating that Shaq spent his first million dollars within 30 minutes of joining the league.
This led to a call from Shaq’s banker, who warned him to get it together or end up broke like so many other former athletes. As a result, O’neal decided to become educated in money and finance. He went back to school and got both his bachelor’s degree and MBA. He eventually got his EdD, making himself Dr. Shaquille O’neal.
Now, according to TimeToFocus, Shaq’s financial life is flourishing:
As of today, Shaq is the joint owner of 155 Five Guys Burgers restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie’s Pretzels restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 24-hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas nightclubs.
In addition to his business holdings, O’neal still earns $22 million per year (roughly $423,000 per week) from his endorsement deals with Arizona Creme soda, Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Buick, Zales, and at least a half dozen additional corporate sponsors. He is also a studio analyst for TNT.
In Shaq’s own words, “It is not about how much money you make. The question is are you educated enough to KEEP it.”
Financial Juneteenth lessons from this story:
1) Quite a few athletes go broke because they don’t realize that money is an asset that is supposed to grow over time. Instead, they see it as a consumption item, used to buy fancy cars, nice clothes and jewelry. This is like having a bucket full of apple seeds and eating them when you could be growing thousands of trees that would feed your family for centuries.
2) Education is the key to protecting wealth. Educated people have a greater ability to accumulate/capture wealth and also a greater ability to keep/protect wealth. Never underestimate the value of financial literacy.