The next chapter of Shakima Wimbley’s career is financial literacy. The two-time U.S. champ, 400-meter champion and Miami graduate is now representing Morgan Stanley and the investment banking company’s new initiative teaching athletes financial literacy.
What do you think about NIL?I think it’s amazing. I think it’s fantastic. Unfortunately, I graduated before it became a thing. Still, I think it’s a great opportunity for the kids to maximize their likeness, to get all the money and earnings from their image. I think it’s awesome to set them up and give them all the tools and resources they need to go forward.
Morgan Stanley has set up a financial education program called Money in the Making. What do you think about it?Speaking of the tools and resources we need, I think Morgan Stanley is great. I don’t remember a lot of people pushing the financial side of being an athlete or just the financial education of being an athlete.
You just think you’re an athlete, you think what you’re doing right now is going to last forever, so you’re not really worrying about the money you’re making. You’re going the things that lead up to it, but you don’t know what to do with it. You’re not thinking about taxes, savings, how to grow money, where to put it, retirement, you’re not thinking about any of that. You’re just thinking, “These funds are coming in, I’m well off, I can do what I want to do because more is coming.”
Having something like Morgan Stanley is [like having] somebody just to teach you the ropes. [Somebody] to teach you about if an emergency happens, how to grow your money or if a person wants to be an entrepreneur forever and never work for someone, how to set yourself up for that. I think it’s fantastic, [the] Money in the Making [program]. It’s really a resource.
Have you thought about retirement? How have financial literacy tools helped you?
I have thought about retirement. I’m not old and I still compete in this sport, but I don’t plan to run forever. I’m thinking about going back to school, and now I do know these things, I know what to do with the money I have earned. Had I not known these things or reached out to people who knew about these things, I would be in a tougher situation.
Another thing is, some of these tools were not readily available [a few years ago]. I reached out to some people who knew, and now we have these programs where they’re like, “Hey. We’re here to help with all the tools.” Everything is laid out. I think it’s going to be very promising for future generations and my stuff as well toward the end.
What have you learned about the dos and don’t’s of money?
One of the biggest things I learned is living within your means. That’s been something that’s really been important as an athlete because you’re transitioning as an athlete, having more income and sponsorships. When you’re transitioning to the workforce or retirement, you have opportunities where you will make money, but it’s not going to come in a big lump sum or at one moment. The transition is to understand who you are, where you can make the best of the talents and tools you have, and use that to go forward to make money.
… I think that’s one of the biggest things I learned as an athlete: You see a lot of the income, but I think the organization is what helps you along the way, especially learning about investing and taxes. Some people don’t even know about LLCs, or what an S-Corp is, or when to file this and 1099s. It’s just so much for people to learn that I did not know when I first turned pro at all. I was lucky to meet some people who were in a place to help me.
How have you applied financial discipline in your life?
I try to think about the future, if that makes sense.
I know that training for a future goal, for a medal, for a moment, is just like with money. If you’re going to want a house, want a car, or whatever plans that people may have, and following these steps will lead you to that goal. It may not be perfect, but this is the right route to take to get to financial freedom.
Some people don’t want a job after they [retire]. Some people want to spend their retirement in their 30s, earlier than the usual retirement age. So it just depends on your goal, and whatever that goal is, you just think about that. … So I may have to sacrifice right now, I may not be able to get this thing, this flashy thing I want right now, but it’s gonna pay off in the end.
You’re in track, an independent sport. Why do you need to set goals as it relates to your finances?
This is personal to me.
I come from very humble beginnings, and seeing where I was then, all of the knowledge I have now, and what I was able to earn is really important to me because I see how education, discipline and growth of learning about finances have set me up as an individual. I know the basis of these things. So no matter which way I go in life, I know the organization and the basis of finances, and how to make it work for me. I think that has helped my independence by just doing the best I can do before I reach out for resources or help because that’s just my personality. I like to maximize everything I know and whatever I’m capable of before I reach out and have these tools and learn these things.
I like to share what I learn with people. So with my family, I can say, “Hey, I know this.” Financial education doesn’t just set you up for yourself. It’s a generational thing with everybody, with whoever learns it. I think that’s really cool.
Any closing words about getting a financial education?
I would say financial education is truly freedom. It’s just a way to set yourself up for the future. … It’s just something you should really make a part of your life and get an understanding of because it’s so beneficial.
Source: Rolling Out