259. Anna McDonald of Moneta: Going for Gold – Coaching Athletes on their Financial Game

Anna McDonald has a dual role at Moneta, a St. Louis based RIA with over $32 billion in assets under management. She supports athletes in all aspects of their financial lives, preparing them for sustained success beyond their athletic careers. She knows this segment well as she previously spent six years as an ESPN reporter, covering Major League Baseball and the National Football League. During this time she was a spokesperson around health and safety concerns of the NFL.  In addition to her work with athletes, she also serves as Moneta’s Director of Family Learning. In this capacity, she works at the net as client facing teams to facilitate learning programs for families to transfer wealth to younger generations.

Having bridged both journalism and financial advice, we start with the mysterious world of professional sports and reporting on them.  Anna describes how she won the trust of athletes, getting them to open up to her as a reporter, and discusses how meeting them at their level of discussion in terms of technical knowledge was the key to rising above some of the “fluff” in sports coverage.  She translated this counseling and advisory capacity into a broader desire to work with athletes to plan their lives beyond their financial careers and her role at Moneta was born.

The profile of professional athletes is unique in terms of earning – and can resemble the inverse of a J curve – in that earnings can be front end loaded but can taper off once a career recedes or retirement occurs.  This underscores the importance of planning, budgeting and preparing for a career beyond elite sports, and we discuss the educational and practical components of this.

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