Marcus Hill mug

Marcus Hill, Staff Reporter 

One million dollars is not as much money as you would think.

Not in the grand scheme of life, anyway. Once you apply factors like taxes, healthcare, pets, debt, living expenses, food — you burn through that cash fast. 

So many teenagers and young people aspire for millionaire status because it has that ring of financial independence, cars, clothes, etc. 

But, along with that money, there are expectations that need to be managed. 

I referenced this in my Sept. 15 Indy Blast. If you have not read it, please check it out. I mentioned the ESPN documentary titled ‘Broke.’  

It highlighted the growth of pro athletes’ contracts, mostly boxers, NFL and NBA players from the late ‘80s until the early 2010s, when the documentary was released. 

Players made seven and eight figures on the reg and appeared to live the good life. Whatever “the good life” entails, because according to those interviewed, they experienced hell after getting that bread. 

Poor decisions, family members and ignorant investments stifled multi-millionaires from post-career financial freedom. Now, many people ask: “How can you blow that kind of money?”

Listen, I like to think I’m responsible with my money. If I earned a check that resembled a phone number, though, especially in my early 20s, whew! No question I’d own a giraffe or something nonsensical.

The essence of the film concludes that being rich doesn’t mean you’re wealthy. Sure, many pro athletes receive de facto lotto checks every month, but few acquire the mindset to maintain it. 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Now, more than ever, financial information is available for anyone with a phone and/or internet access. 

Don’t join the, “They never taught this in school” mob who chose, and still choose, to forgo that wisdom. 

Side note: If you attended Harrison High School in the 2000s and utter this nonsense, stop. You will not sully Celeste Wolfaardt and her personal finance class because you skipped the course.

Anyhow, I referenced ‘Broke’ and obtaining financial intelligence in high school finance because on Sept. 8, Sierra’s page posted information for a “financial training camp.” 

It discusses the importance of being a solid athlete and understanding the X’s and O’s of investing and making your money work for you.

The story provides three tips — explained in sports lingo — to understand and offers a potential roadmap to an educated investing journey. 

I wish I invested as a teenager rather than stalling until my mid-20s. Please, heed the advice of teachers, parents, … the, “They never taught this in school” mob, or anyone telling you to learn investing.

Leverage your resources. If you wonder where you can begin investing, try: Stash, ETrade, WeBull, Charles Schwab, Robin Hood. 

Do your homework. Unlock your phone, go to the ‘Stocks’ app, select a stock and a read a story. No worries, stock news is typically a swift read.   

Wondering how much it takes to get started? Do you have a dollar? Then you have enough. Many platforms allow you to buy fractional shares. Don’t be foolish like me and think you need thousands of dollars. It’s usually much less. As of Sept. 23, one share of Coca-Cola costs $54.04.

By the time you read this, Coca-Cola could cost more, it may be less. If it is cheaper, in a sense, that’s good. There is more incentive to buy. Don’t fret about a stock being red.   

Also, don’t let that number intimidate you. I have seen the October lineup for Js and they cost nearly four times as much, so I know you have that cash. 

But, mostly, don’t panic.   

Wondering what to invest in? Well, for legal reasons, I cannot tell you specifically to invest in such-n-such. However, I will provide the same advice I have received: Invest in what you know. Don’t place money into a stock you heard “is going to the moon.” That’s a guarantee for a loss. 

Patience and due diligence work wonders with the stock market and investing. Do the work and learn about these opportunities now.  In your late 20s, you will thank yourself for the decision.

Also, you will not touch that first million overnight. Rome was not built in a day. Don’t rush the process, trust the process.


Marcus Hill is a reporter for the Southeast Express and Schriever Sentinel. He graduated from Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2012 with a degree in Mass Communication.