At just 21 years old, Phillip Buchanon was a millionaire.
“The thing that I didn’t prepare for, was finances,” said Buchanon.
The former Lehigh star had just signed a five year deal worth $12 million after the Oakland Raiders selected him in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft.
Life was good as a pro athlete.
“I went to a party where Puff Daddy was hosting, and Bruce Willis was there,” said Buchanon. “They had a bunch of stars there, so I’m walking around and they were just offering me drinks.”
But shortly after the draft, those around him seemed to all want a piece of his newfound wealth.
His own mother demanded a million dollars for raising him.
“I wasn’t really ready to handle money,” said Buchanon. “That was something I was dealing with. Money and family, and money and friends.”
Instead, he bought his mother a house. But when she couldn’t afford the upkeep, Buchanan then had to give her more money.
“A lot of people don’t really understand the things that athletes go through,” said Buchanon. “I thought it was very important for me to show the scary side of things.”
Looking back, Buchanon’s advice for managing money boils down to a few basic points.
“Know the difference between wants and needs for you and your family, make sure you have five true friends and not just two or three fun friends, and having the right mentor can help you find the right financial advisor, and avoid bad business deals,” said Buchanon.
Buchanon is now a published author, comic book creator, and entrepreneur.
His new book, “New Money: Staying Rich” is available online at Amazon.com.