Dwyane Wade Shares the Financial Advice He Learned While in the NBA

Dwyane Wade Shares the Financial Advice He Learned While in the NBA

02/25/2020

In 2003, Dwyane Wade was selected fifth overall in the NBA Draft by the Miami Heat. Overnight, Wade went from unpaid NCAA athlete to a professional ball player, signing a multi-million-dollar contract.

At the time, Wade had yet to invest in a financial advisor. His personal goal was to save half of the $2 million or so he was taking in his first year. He ended up spending all of it. “When I was in college and I knew I was gonna enter the draft, I had my eyes on this blue Escalade,” Wade remembers. “I saw someone driving it down the street of Milwaukee. I get some money, I’m gonna get me one of those. I put spinners on it.” And so Wade bought it. Got the spinners. And he drove up to traffic lights, rolling down his windows and turning up Three Six Mafia’s “Ridin Spinners”—I’m ridin’ spinners, I’m ridin’ spinners / they don’t stop. That was living the dream.

While he never regretted these early spendthrift purchases, Wade knew he could be planning smarter. “I was just sending my credit card to people like: hey can I get that Bentley? . . . That is not smart, people. Have someone smarter than you who can help you with your money.”

Wade also learned some other lessons.

On gambling:

“I’m not a big gambler. I don’t go to casinos. But when you play sports, it’s like a right of passage that you have to play cards on the plane. It’s a team thing. It’s how we connect, how we bond. And I’ve lost a lot of money on the plane just trying to play with my teammates. There’s been times when I wanted out because I was losing so much money. My financial advisor called me and said, ‘Hey, this is something we need to talk about. Do you have a problem?’ I’m glad that’s over with.”

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On gift-giving:

“As a parent, when it comes to birthdays and Christmas—when it comes to holidays—you buy your kids all these presents. They don’t play with none of it. My daughter—I buy her all these presents, but she wants to play with the box or a bag from the grocery store. Why do we go all out if our kids just want to play with the simplest thing? Like, shoe strings and a shoe. So yes, I’ve spent a lot of money on a lot of gifts that my kids never used. But other families have. Because we’ve passed them on.”

On his best purchases

“To buy my mom her first home and buy my dad his first home that was paid for. As a kid, you have these dreams—especially growing up in the inner city—to make it out. And also for my kids, the best money I spent on them was being able to give them the education I didn’t have. Putting them in some of the best schools. To the point where my kids at a certain age—about 10—feel like they’re smarter than me.”


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