Add the name of NFL running back Adrian Peterson to the list of celebrities that can’t seem to figure out how to manage his prodigious wealth. Despite earning over $100 million dollars in his career, Peterson is apparently so broke that he cannot pay back millions in dollars of loans he took. In news reports they wrote it up as another case of an athlete who was “taken advantage of by his financial representatives” or “wasn’t well educated in how to handle money.”
I’m sorry, but for too long we pretend as if these celebrities are victims. He is the one being brought to court for not paying his debts. He is the one who lost $100 million. I don’t see any of his financial advisors being convicted of fraud. Regardless of whether or not one hires others to help manage our money, we all still need to be personally responsible for protecting our own nest egg.
When I think of Peterson’s predicament, it contrasted sharply with another former Minnesota Vikings running back, Herschel Walker. Both were premier athletes in college and the NFL. What’s different is that Walker has excelled financially, starting a number of very successful businesses with annual sales that exceed what Peterson has made in his entire career.
Walker’s success isn’t the kind of thing that makes the headlines though. While there are dozens of articles written in the last few days about how broke Peterson is, I could only find a handful on the success that Walker has achieved since he started his first company back in 1999.
It’s too bad that the celebrities that waste their money are the ones that get the attention, while the successful ones are rarely acknowledged. That said, in a perverse way, perhaps that imbalance becomes a good cautionary tale for our society.
What other celebrities have you learned about becoming quietly successful outside of their original careers?
Image Credit: CBSSports.com