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Careers

Saving Pro Athletes From Themselves

Lenny Dykstra, former Mets and Phillies star is a partner in a new magazine, The Players Club, designed to help athletes manage their millions.. <b>As told to Robert Frick</b>

Why do we read about so many athletes in the poorhouse?
While you are playing, the checks are so big and come in so fast, you almost feel you can't come close to spending it all. And you don't have time for a finance class in the off-season. If you play a position, you're battling for one of just 30 starting spots in the major leagues. Then you're done at 35, and you wake up and you have some decisions to make.

Should the leagues help players more?
As I say in the magazine: I had no idea on the day I retired what would happen. All the support staff and services the club provided were suddenly out of my life in order to take care of the player who replaced me.

So what's the answer?
We back only one thing: annuities. It's the players' only choice. With annuities, they can't lose money. It's guaranteed cash flow.

But you made your money in real estate and options. Why not those?
Annuities offer a very stable option for players.

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Your nickname was 'Nails.' What would your investing nickname be?
Winning player. That's all there is in life: winning players and losing players. People in the middle don't count. They're a nonfactor.

Are there other players who have made good financial moves?
I don't know of a single one.

What can you do for athletes who didn't save?
If they're broke, unless they've got a second career, they're cooked. You need to use your money wisely when it comes in. It's a small window, but you only have to get rich once.

Some articles are directed at players' wives. Why? They're tired of getting smoked. Wives are important, man. They're tired of their husbands ending up with no money, which leads to divorce.

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What do you hope to accomplish with the magazine? We want players to have dignity when they retire. They shouldn't have to beg a coach for some minimum-wage job. They're going to have a choice. That's the key.

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