Dwyane Wade on Managing Wealth: From $500 to Millions

Financial wisdom grows from early struggles, Wade reveals.

by Nouman Rasool
Dwyane Wade on Managing Wealth: From $500 to Millions
© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Dwyane Wade is a three-time NBA champion and one of basketball's most pivotal figures, with nearly $200 million earned over an illustrious career. Wade is a 13-time All-Star, but he didn't always have a sure footing on his path to being so financially savvy.

In a candid conversation with CNBC Make It, while discussing his collaboration with Google Workspace, Wade reflected on the complexities of managing substantial wealth at a young age, a challenge now faced by rising stars like Caitlin Clark.

Wade was drafted into the NBA by the Miami Heat at 21 and admits it took him years to grasp the essentials of financial management. "Coming into the league, the most money I had ever handled at one time was $500," he shared.

This stark transition to multimillion-dollar earnings meant navigating a landscape where he initially knew "nothing at all" about managing such vast sums.

Choosing Financial Advisors

The basketball icon emphasized the importance of surrounding oneself with knowledgeable financial advisors, a lesson learned through his own experiences of feeling overwhelmed and underinformed.

"It's not that I lacked good advisors; it was about finding people who understood the financial scope at my level, which I didn't do early on," Wade explained. He also pointed out humility and the capacity to seek advice. One of his most significant early mistake was that he was not humble enough to ask for help, explained Wade.

To him, the ability to handle financial advice is admitting the areas where one is not knowledgeable. "It's hard to admit you're uneducated on something, but acknowledging that is the first step towards learning," he remarked.

Now 42, Wade is passionate about ensuring the next generation of athletes starts on a stronger financial footing. He encourages young millionaires to proactively seek mentors who are successful in their financial endeavors.

"Reach out, set up a call, and directly ask them how to manage and think about your finances," he advises. Concluding his insights, Wade expressed hope that sports leagues will play a more active role in equipping their athletes with the necessary knowledge to secure their financial future.

"We aim for these athletes to build generational wealth; it begins with proper financial education," he affirmed. As Wade continues to navigate his post-retirement ventures, his journey from financial novice to savvy investor underscores the essential blend of knowledge, humility, and mentorship in mastering the art of wealth management.