- Wealth manager Evan Rothstein turned his childhood dream of playing baseball into a career handling money for some 20 Major League players as well as football and basketball stars.
- Forbes named Rothstein one of its top young wealth advisers. He told Business Insider about the challenges of working with a group of young clients, some of whom have just signed huge contracts.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Like most kids who dream of playing baseball for a living, Evan Rothstein didn’t make it all the way to the big leagues.
But even though he didn’t achieve his dream of playing shortstop for the Dodgers, he came closer to The Show than most: Now a successful financial advisor, he handles money for a growing roster of about 20 ballplayers and earned a spot on Forbes’ list of the top next-generation wealth advisers.
"My clients are everything from guys in rookie ball to all-stars," Rothstein, 36, told Business Insider in a phone interview. "Not only did I love the sport and could speak the language, I thought it would be great to work with guys who needed my help."
His path to putting that team together may not have involved as many detours as a prospect’s route to the major leagues, but it still included some curves. After finishing college with a degree in business, he pursued a career in finance and joined RVR Group, part of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.RVR Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
RVR was founded and run by his mother, highly regarded wealth manager Rebecca Rothstein. He’s a senior vice president and senior financial advisor.
"When I first came into the business is was working with entrepreneurs, technology, real estate," Rothstein said.
Along the way he gained a professional football player as a client, and that proved to be his break into sports. Rothstein says his clients include world champions in basketball and football, but baseball has become his focus.
Many of Roth stein’s clients are also rookies in financial terms, and they’re on the verge of signing gaudy contracts in their teens or early 20s. Those who sign for millions or hundreds of thousands will be able to make major purchases, but they might not have any credit history. It makes for a lot of work for a wealth adviser.
"What are the financial markets, what does it meant to built credit, what does it mean to purchase a house, what is a down payment, what is a mortgage, what is a stock, what is a bond?" are all topics, Rothstein said. "It’s a full education of the financial markets but also just a general understanding of all the financial pitfalls that somebody can fall into."
Any young athlete who wants to play professionally faces long odds, but even compared to basketball or football, the path to Major League Baseball is daunting. More than a thousand players are drafted out of high school, college and international leagues every year, and Rothstein says only 12% or 13% of them actually make it to the big leagues.
"Oftentimes the amount of money that he receives through the draft will be the largest check that he might ever receive," Rothstein said.
Even a very promising player will likely spend years in the minor leagues, making a modest salary over that time and enduring grueling travel, all the while competing against other players in that team’s organization, and facing the risk of debilitating or career-ending injuries throughout.
"You could be somebody who’s a first-round guy that everybody thinks is going to be a 15-year major leaguer, and you might not even see the majors," Rothstein said. "It’s hard to have those conversations with people. Because not everybody believes they’re going to be the guy who draws that unlucky card."
It’s helped, he says, that his team includes several people who pursued careers in sports, including a ballplayer who reached the Triple-A level just below the major leagues. And Rothstein himself has an extra reason to stay closer to the game.
"I check the stats of every single one of my clients every single day," he said. "If they had a great game I reached out to them and I say ‘great job yesterday,’" adding that he speaks to all of them about once a week even if they are slumping.
"You want to have these conversations," he adds. "You want to make sure your guys are well informed."
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