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NFL player Ryan Broyles, lives like he made $60,000 last year and not $600,000

ALLEN PARK, MI - MAY 12: Ryan Broyles #84 of the Detroit Lions looks on during a rookie mini camp at the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on May 12, 2012 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

ALLEN PARK, MI – MAY 12: Ryan Broyles #84 of the Detroit Lions looks on during a rookie mini camp at the Detroit Lions Headquarters and Training Facility on May 12, 2012 in Allen Park, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


He bought his Mac computer with points from one of his credit cards. He pays his credit cards off every month.

And they use cloth diapers for their son. “My wife wanted to use cloth diapers. They’re washable. And they have cool designs. They have stars and trucks on them. It’s like he has his own little outfits. He’s looking good,” Broyles said. When I asked him why they use cloth, he laughed and said, “it’s cheaper.”

He also doesn’t hire movers. He has moved four times and has driven a U-Haul truck each time. When he moved from Michigan to Dallas last year, he and his wife drove the 16 hours with all of their belongings in the truck. He said they did it themselves because the U-Haul cost $500 and movers would have cost about $3,000. “There were times when we were in the U-Haul with our dog, and I thought, ‘this is not the best situation.’ But we made it work,” he said.

It was clear after we spoke for a while that his wife is a big part of the reason they are so smart with their money.

“Sometimes I think, ‘let’s just pay full price for something,’ but my wife talks me into finding a deal,” he said. While they were in college together in Oklahoma, she worked and helped the couple make money. “She’s always: let’s save, let’s be smart,” he said. And he said her grandfather, who was a political-science professor at the University of Oklahoma, has been a positive influence, too. “He dabbles in the stock market, and I talk to her grandpa all the time,” Broyles said.

One place the Broyles like to splurge is on vacations and experiences. He said their favorite trip was to China last February. They’ve also been to Europe and the Caribbean, but loved how different the culture was in China. They keep a list of places they want to go next, including Fiji, Jerusalem, Greece, and the Ivory Coast.

But even when they splurge, they find a deal first. They used a Groupon to go to China, for example.

His influences

In addition to his family members, Broyles says he has had other positive influences on his relationship to money.

He considers one of his teachers in high school to be a mentor. When he was in high school, she asked him to work at the YMCA for a special needs summer camp. “We worked together and she blew me away. We talked about finances and budgeting and investing. She influenced how I think today. And we still talk,” he said.

His investments

He said of his whole net worth, 40% is in the stock market. It’s in all stocks and no bonds, but he said some of the investors he follows are predicting a recession in 2016, so he is considering putting more of his money into bonds. He has 40% of his money in real-estate investments, and the remaining 20% is in cash.

“Agents and advisers come after you” when you’re a top collegiate athlete, he said. “I interviewed four or five guys and knew the type of investor I wanted to be and adviser I wanted to work with.” He ended up choosing a financial adviser that represented other NFL players he knew. He said initially he was ultra conservative, but his adviser coached him. “As I got more comfortable, I understood P/E ratios and things like that. Stocks and real estate are what I’m into.”

Toward the end of our talk, I mentioned how much I pay in rent to live in New York City. He was shocked and said I needed to read the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” He talked about the wisdom of owning versus renting and said it’s a myth that people have to put 20% down to buy a home. He talked about credit scores and FHA loans and started doing some calculations on a piece of paper and told me how much I’ve spent on rent over the years and how much that money would be worth if it had been in the stock market.

“The American dream is alive. Wages have not grown as in the past, but get into the game sooner than later,” he said.

Then he apologized for giving so much advice. But I said not to, and that everything he said made sense.

Immediately after we ended the interview, he texted me.

“Really, pick up the book ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad.’ It’s good stuff.”


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