By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Front Office Sports is proud to have sat down with Mark Martiak, Vice President and Senior Wealth Strategist at Premier Wealth Advisors as well as an NFLPA Registered Player Financial Advisor. A consummate and experienced professional, with over 13 years of financial planning experience Mark, a graduate of East Stroudsburg University with a dual BA/BS degree is fluent in both Russian and Spanish. Two years ago, Mark ventured into the sports industry when he became an NFLPA Registered Player Financial Advisor. Since then, he has experienced favorable success in his work advising players. With an amiable personality and years of wisdom and knowledge under his belt, it is easy to see why Mark has had success early and often. He was gracious enough to offer up his time and insight into the financial advising world, why establishing trust is crucial for success and how much preparation goes into advising players.
Your career began in sales and then transitioned to the financial planning and advising business for the past twelve years; what has that journey been like for you? What made you want to move from sales to financial planning?
I wanted to have a more vertical career path and financial advising is a real vertical industry sector that enabled me to go beyond just selling. It allowed me to provide real value specific to one’s financial dreams and goals. I knew that this transition would allow me to both grow individually and to forge life-long relationships while making an impact on the lives of families and individuals.
How long have you been an NFLPA Registered Player Financial Advisor? What has that experience been like for you?
I have started my second year and it has been very favorable to me. It has been interesting in many ways because the task and the goal is to work with young men who have not been exposed to the fundamentals of financial literacy. The idea is to take the same concepts that they use in practice for success on the field and use those ideals to help create a financial future for themselves.
My favorite moment has been watching the young athletes eyes light up when they understand a financial concept. It gives me a great feeling when we can have a two-way dialogue.
Financially, what is the most common mistake you see players make? How can they counteract this?
The number one mistake is not planning and implementing a strategy that can help them in the future. Thinking about the future is something that must be done in the present. Unfortunately, they don’t have the ability or vision to look into the future to see how their lives will be affected with poor planning.
Getting players to understand what life will be like post-NFL career is difficult. A lot of the time nowadays these kids are focused on their playbooks instead of focused on both their playbooks and their financial future.
Lots of students want to interact with players on either the agent level or the financial advising level. What would be your tips for a student who would like to become a financial advisor for players?
You have to be a fan of the sport and then you have to be someone that wants to help. You’re not only someone that helps, but you are someone who is an influence and someone who guides the player. You really have to develop a marketing strategy for your brand to enable you to get in front of the players, agents, coaches and families.
In your current role you have to establish a certain level of trust with players and their family members. How do you go about creating that trust?
You have to create trust with the family members and the player you are trying to represent. It is easy to do this by listening to their needs and what they want. From that, you have to develop a process that is customized for them to reach financial success. Throughout this process, you have to ask the right questions to make sure you are covering everything they need.
Many students think that being an agent or a financial advisor is a sexy position and that you just get to hang out with the players. Can you elaborate on how much work your job actually takes and everything that goes into it?
It takes a lot of work and a lot of preparation. You are always building a strategy for your current clients and then preparing for the next season and for the acquisition of more clients. It is a very relationship-based career. You have to be personable and able to connect to people because you need to identify players and create trust in order to be able to approach and talk to certain players.
Know what you want to do sooner, start sooner and do not be afraid of failure.
If you can become well-versed and articulate in simple financial concepts and distill it down into very basic language that makes it easy to understand, that is a great way to get started.
The players don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
It never hurts to ask someone with more experience to help you. Let them know what you want to do and team up with them.
We would like to thank Mark for his time and insight and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors!
Click on the video below to see how Mark approaches financial advising!