Hockey legend offers blueprint for advisors

A former hockey star turned advisor is offering key lessons in how to win and retain top athletes with a penchant for spending.

A one-time NHLer with a penchant for partying turns over a new leaf looking to wealth management as his saviour.

“I learned tough lessons from wasting millions on booze and drugs,” former Boston Bruin Derek Sanderson recently told MoneySense magazine. “Now I manage money for other hockey players.”

Derek Sanderson is the managing director of Boston-based The Sports Group, a firm dedicated to helping professional athletes avoid some of the mistakes that he made as a young centre playing in the NHL. Sanderson’s image as a playboy frittering away his paycheque by living the high life has long since been replaced by one of sober reflection.

“As a former athlete, I know how difficult it can be for professional athletes to manage their finances,” Sanderson told media when launching his new firm, “especially looking beyond their playing days towards retirement.”

Like the clergyman who believes his past sins equip him to serve sinners, Sanderson believes that his early mishandling of money enables him to convey to athletes the pitfalls that come with fame and fortune.

Sanderson’s got a few wealth management principles that he teaches his clients.

1) He can’t emphasize enough that they need to take an interest in how their money is invested including keeping track of their returns. An informed client is always a better client.

2) While returns are important, Sanderson recommends that clients think long term understanding that that they don’t have to take on a lot of risk to grow their money if they simply let the power of compounding take hold.

3) And probably most importantly, he tells his NHL clients that if they take their money management seriously and get their questions answered, they likely won’t have to work (if they don’t want too) once their pro careers are over.

At age 68, when most people are contemplating retirement, Sanderson seems content to continue managing money.

“I love my job and I get up every morning feeling needed and appreciated,” said Sanderson. “That’s the real key to a successful life.”