NBA All Star Tim Duncan is suing his former financial advisor for 1 million dollars because allegedly his advisor lost 20 million dollars through actual loss and maybe some fraud. Reportedly Tim Duncan invested into some businesses that the advisor was involved with and also reportedly the advisor withheld interest payments that were due the NBA All Star. It was also reported that the financial advisor forged Tim Duncan’s name on documents. The losses occurred over a span of 8 years between 2003 and 2015.
Obviously, if the details reported are true, the blame falls squarely on the advisor. However, does Tim Duncan have some responsibility in this situation?
I would suggest that he does have some responsibility. He commits a mistake that so many investors commit. Whether you have Tim Duncan money or you have a small portfolio, this is one of the most common investment success killers – not paying attention.
It is our responsibility to pay attention and monitor rather than just pretend (hope) everything is OK. Considering that 20 million dollars vanished over a period of 8 years, he clearly handed over complete trust to the advisor. Unfortunately, by the sound of the allegations, he was plain taken to the bank!
Athletes are no different than anyone else. It is the human condition to want to trust and delegate the things that cause us the most stress or hassle. Money definitely falls into that category. To complicate it even more, people either have an orientation towards the math of money or they don’t. If you don’t understand how numbers work, it makes it that much tougher.
So, what if you are one of those who doesn’t pay attention?
Well, if you are not numbers oriented, team up with a friend or family member who is and get them to help you with the evaluation. Be careful – Pick someone that can be open-minded and not someone full of bias.
If you are avoiding your investments for whatever reason, accept where you are. Understand it is your reality, and develop a game plan from where you are and not from where you regret that you aren’t!
Fortunately, Tim Duncan has made well over 200 million dollars playing basketball. According to him, the loss doesn’t affect his lifestyle. I think that misses the point. It isn’t about lifestyle. Paying attention and practicing accountability is about prudent stewardship.
The bigger question lies with the lawsuit itself. If someone takes 20 million from you, why only sue for 1 million?
Bob Brooks hosts the Prudent Money Radio Show heard weekdays Monday through Friday on 91.3, 97.5, and 99.9 in the Dallas Fort Worth Area. You can reach Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org