The Triad Perspective

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Buy Buy Boris

I'm a tennis fan, although not a rabid fan. I watch the major tournaments, sometimes the not-so-major ones. I'm reasonably familiar with the top players, and most of the retired stars. But once they're retired I tend not to follow them.
Enter Boris Becker, one of the all-time tennis greats, now retired. Boom Boom Becker, so nicknamed due to his big serve, is the youngest ever Wimbledon men's singles tournament winner in 1985 as a 17-year old. Boris would go on to win 6 Grand Slam titles--the big ones--and 49 titles overall, including one Olympic Gold medal. Becker retired from tennis in 1999, although some contend he had mentally checked out earlier than that.

Like many athletes who hit the big time quickly and cash large checks, Becker has blown through his career earnings and endorsement money. The rumored amounts are anywhere from $50 million to $250 million. Doesn't matter because any way you slice's a lot of money.
So, where did it all go?

Some was used to pay former wives for divorce settlements. His first divorce cost a cool $25 million. Some was spent on hard partying. And some disappeared in poor business ventures, such as the Boris Becker Tower in Dubai, which went belly up in 2011.

Boris was also convicted in 2002 of tax evasion, claiming he lived in tax-free Monaco while in reality he resided in Germany. Perhaps a mistake or oversight? Or perhaps an insight into the future Boris Becker.
Alas, hope springs eternal. At his second wedding in 2009, Boris beamed and said: "I've changed, there is a new chapter starting." Meanwhile, Boris continued to maintain homes in Switzerland, Monaco, Spain and the United States.
Last year, a bank to which Boris owes $3 million asked a British court to declare him bankrupt. Shortly thereafter, his wife Lilly--a Dutch model, of course--decided that it was too stressful living with the now shrunken financial situation dealt to Boris. She left him and has filed for divorce. Not sure where the funds for that settlement will come from. Perhaps the bankruptcy court has an answer.
In April 2018, Boris emerged with a claim to diplomatic immunity as a means to fend off the bankruptcy filing. Diplomatic immunity? That's funny, I thought he was a retired tennis player.
But wait...Boris claims the Central African Republic appointed him a diplomat, and any legal action must go through the C.A.R. The C.A.R. has officially denied this, saying the passport in question was stolen in 2014. Apparently, the auction of his personal possessions such as tennis trophies and other memorabilia is now on hold.
How did this circus of a life come to be? Boris is now a 50-year-old former multi-millionaire. Sure, he can still work as a tennis commentator and perhaps coach. He'll always be able to put food on the table. But it's likely the collection of houses, cars and other trophy items are gone, perhaps for good.
The lesson here is pretty clear - avoid the turmoil. Boris clearly didn't pay attention to financial matters and admitted that money just wasn't his thing. He had little interest, other than spending it. Which is fine. If you're not interested, find someone you trust who can look after your finances for you. Because money isn't infinite, even if you're Boris Becker. Given all the toys, frivolous things, and lousy investment ideas that will be presented to you, it can disappear before you do.
-John Heldman, CFA

The blue Maserati owned--formerly owned--by Boris Becker is hauled away.

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