But how what does playing football have to do with plugging in numbers and strategizing investment portfolios? According to Gordon, there is a direct co-relation.
“One of the reasons we looked at the career as a financial advisor is because it seemed like a career in which players were quite well suited for,” Gordon says, adding that about 66 per cent CFL players have indicated they want to finish their post-secondary degrees. “The skill set a professional athlete requires in terms of being disciplined, in terms of being focused, goal-oriented, thriving under pressure, those are all skills that transition very well into the role of a professional financial advisor. You have to make decisions on the fly. You have to work with a team.”
Gordon also points out that CFL players aren’t as well paid as one might think, with many working second jobs. The average CFL salary in 2009 was about C$50,000 – with the highest salary reaching more than $150,000, according to the website huffpages.com. Compare that to the average salary in the NFL, that same year, which sat at US$770,000 the same year and reached as high as $10-15 million for the top football players. Meanwhile, The average salary of a financial advisor which ranges between about C$48,000 to C$75,000, according to payscale.com.
“A number of our players have to hold down second jobs even in the season to make ends meet," says Gordon. "The compensation, should they become a financial advisor, is definitely more than what most are making as football players, so there is some appeal from a financial perspective, as well."
The program saw three football players become financial advisors in 2012 - the year it launched - and is awaiting results from 2013.