5 Best Books for the Athlete-Turned-Investor
The Calgary Reads Big Book Sale is in a few short days, running from May 6 – 16, 2022, so there is no better time to write about books that are perfect for readers passionate about sports and finance.1
Did you know that investing and being an athlete have quite a few characteristics in common? They both require patience, diligence, and a willingness to keep learning. This is why athletes often make some of the most successful investors. They know what it takes to make a long-term game plan and stick with it.
These books are perfect for the athlete-turned investor and help teach important lessons about both crafts.
The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive by Jim Afremow
What makes elite athletes stand out from the pack? Is it just based on skill, or is there another factor at play? In The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive, Afremow explains that raw athletic ability doesn't necessarily translate to a superior on-field experience. It’s the mental game that matters the most.
The book offers helpful advice for athletic and non-athletic readers. You’ll learn how to pursue long-term excellence, how to get “in the zone,” and how to work as a team. These life lessons are important both in and out of the game, and can translate to a focused mindset for investing.
Winning the Money Game: Lessons Learned from the Financial Fouls of Pro Athletes by Adonal Foyle
The news is often quick to report when an athlete scores a multimillion-dollar contract or a record-breaking sponsorship deal. Unfortunately, some athletes don't receive advice on managing their finances well during or after their careers, spending more than they can ever hope to make back. With careers in sports typically shorter than those in other professions, it can be challenging to adjust to the long game of retirement.
In his book Winning the Money Game: Lessons Learned from the Financial Fouls of Pro Athletes, Foyle offers essential financial management advice for athletes, their families, and fans to help them protect and keep their wealth. Even if you’re not a pro-athlete, the financial lessons in this book are valuable. Foyle himself is a retired NBA veteran and offers a unique perspective on this unique financial situation.
The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant
There’s no denying that Kobe was one of the best and most iconic players in the NBA and he attributed so much of his success to his discipline off the court. In his book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, he shares his knowledge and understanding of the game to “take readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary ‘Mamba mentality.’”
To Kobe, it wasn’t enough to succeed; he wanted to excel. So many lessons from Bryant’s Mamba Mentality translate to an investor’s approach, from his creativity to his passion and drive to always get better. Plus, the book includes stunning photographs by Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein, presenting a captivating and educational read. This book is great for the young basketball fans in your life to help get them started with investing.
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard Thaler
Athletes have to make good decisions on the fly, and often under immense pressure. Yet from the outside, these good decisions seem to occur effortlessly. Nudge examines how we make the decisions we do every day, from what to eat to how we invest. The book examines the biases inherent in our daily lives, and how we can make better choices every day. We included this popular pick because making good decisions takes on mental strength, both on and off the field.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnerman
So many of the principles that Kahnerman outlines in Thinking, Fast and Slow align with the thought processes of some of the world’s best athletes. In the book, world-famous psychologist and economist Daniel Kahnerman explains the two systems that drive the way we think: our fast, intuitive system and our slower, more logical system. He “reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking.”
Whether you’re a pro player or a weekend warrior, these books dive into both the physical and mental aspects of being a powerful athlete, and so many of the lessons translate to smart investing as well. Wise investing requires fortitude, tenacity, and just a little bit of luck (just like all the best games).
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