NFL

Troy Aikman Gives Advice to Young Athletes: Your Finance Guy ‘Is More Important Than Your Agent’

Troy Aikman has made a name for himself both on and off the field. A legendary Cowboys quarterback played in the NFL for 12 seasons. Now 53 years old, the Hall of Famer spends his time in the announcing booth as a color commentator for FOX Sports.

For years, Aikman has stayed active with endorsement deals that assure he has a hefty wallet when it’s time for retirement. He is a firm believer in investing and is passionate about encouraging young athletes to manage their earnings wisely.

Troy Aikman’s NFL career

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Aikman played with the Cowboys from 1989 to 2000. He led the team to three Super Bowl victories becoming the MVP of Super Bowl XXVII in 1993. The star quarterback held the club’s career record for 2,898 pass completions, 165 touchdowns, 32,942 passing yards, and a 61.3 completion percentage. Aikman participated in the Pro-Bowl six times. In 2006, he entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Investing in his retirement

The Cowboys legendary quarterback is one of the smartest professional athletes when it comes to managing his money. In 1993, he signed an $80 million eight-year contract that made him the highest-paid player in the NFL at the time. Working for FOX since 2001, his reported annual salary is $7.5 million per year. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the Hall of Fame quarterback has an estimated net worth of $50 million.

In the early ’90s, Aikman opened the Troy Aikman Auto Mall, telling CNBC it was a very profitable business. He said, “I used the value of my name to my advantage and what it did was it got people in the door.” The quarterback then moved onto commercial real estate with properties in Texas and Oklahoma.

After retiring from the NFL, Aikman established Troy Aikman Enterprises. Combined with his broadcasting responsibilities, real estate holdings, and endorsement deals, he had plenty to keep him busy in “retirement.”

Investment advice

The young star from UCLA sought to be financially secure after his initial NFL six-year contract. By 1994, he was well on his way to being a millionaire. Starting with conservative mutual funds, the Super Bowl quarterback got more aggressive with his investments and invested in start-up businesses.

Aikman acknowledges that he often sought the advice of some of the most successful businessmen in Texas. Jerry Jones and Ross Perot are among those that he has talked to about developing his portfolio.

Former Dallas quarterback, Roger Staubach, was Aikman’s role model and introduced the young player to the world of venture capitalists. Staubach said, “Troy understands you want to take some risk, get your portfolio balanced right. Overall, you don’t want to take on liability unless you’re personally involved.”

Endorsements and business deals

The well-spoken, good-looking athlete has endorsed many products over the years. Major company affiliations have included Nike, Rent-A-Center, and Silvercar. Most recently, he has worked with Tide laundry detergent and ProFlowers.

In 2003, Aikman entered a lucrative business deal with Wingstop. In 2015, the restaurant franchise went public, and according to ESPN, Aikman made more money in the sale of his shares than he did during his first four seasons in the NFL.

Advice for young athletes

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The savvy businessman advises players to hold onto their earnings, not trying to make $100 million right out of the gate. When investing in the market, Aikman acknowledges the importance of diversification to reduce the risk of exposure.

The FOX announcer also suggests that young athletes surround themselves with “good people.” Using the same financial adviser since 1989, Aikman told CNBC, “Everyone pays attention to what agent they are going to hire. Well, the guy you hire to handle your finances is more important than your agent.”