Charles Barkley may have lost tens of millions of dollars gambling over the years and when it comes to crypto investments, the NBA legend quotes his financial advisors.
“My people do not believe in crypto,” Barkley told CNBC Make It. “I got a couple of financial guys. One of them said, ‘If I ever put you in crypto, you should fire me on the spot.’”
Named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, Barkley earned $40.3 million in salary playing basketball. He has earned tens of millions in endorsements with companies including Nike, McDonald’s and T-Mobile. Barkley has an estimated net worth of $50 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Known as Sir Charles, Barkley has made winning and losing investments over the years and burned as much as $30 million gambling. The most important money lesson he said he learned during his basketball career was “learn to say no and don’t feel bad about it.”
Some of Barkley’s angel investments include NeuroVice, Zorpads, SubSafe, and Space Shake. He admitted to losing $4 million in an investment scam to longtime friend and business associate Alabama lawyer Donald Watkins Sr. Other pro athletes including ex-NFL players Takeo Spikes and Carlos Emmons also got burned, believing they were investing in a biofuels company called Masada that they were told was worth billions.
Many financial analysts warn clients against investing in cryptocurrencies or to only invest money they can afford to lose. Some cite volatility, regulations and issues of limited supply as reasons to stay away. Since mid-April, bitcoin, the No. 1 cryptocurrency by market cap, went from a high of near $64,000 to less than $30,000. Bitcoin was trading at $39,392 as of this writing.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?
“I have not — and do not plan to — add cryptocurrency to my clients’ portfolios,” said Nicole Gopoian Wirick, president of Prosperity Wealth Strategies, according to The Street. “When it comes to something as important as your money, I believe there is great wisdom in being boring.”
Barkley said, “I know that (crypto) is all over the place, to be honest with you.”
Many athletes and investors are bullish on the future of digital currencies, CNBC reported. New York Giants star Saquon Barkley said he plans to convert all of his income from marketing deals and endorsements to bitcoin. The owner of the Sacramento Kings announced in April that he plans to offer bitcoin as a payment option to all players and coaches. In 2019, the Dallas Mavericks, owned by Mark Cuban, began accepting bitcoin as payment. Cuban also announced that the Mavericks would become the first pro team to accept dogecoin, Forbes reported.
Since ending his playing career, Barkley has become one of the biggest off-court stars in basketball, headlining TNT’s “Inside the NBA.” His salary with TNT is $6 million per year. He’s won three Sports Emmy Awards for outstanding studio analyst and said he plans to retire from TV in 2023.
Barkley published a book in 2002, “I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It.” In 2020, Barkley donated $1 million to Miles College, an HBCU in Fairfield, Alabama, founded in 1898. His contribution was the largest individual gift the institution had received.