Emily Samuelson competed at the highest level as an ice dancer over the course of her 15-year career, retiring after skating in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. But like many Olympians, she never earned enough to cover her expenses.
Her parents spent $50,000 a year on her sport, an investment she tried to pay back by giving them three-quarters of her winnings. She saved and invested the rest.
Samuelson, 26, knew that many Olympic friends struggled with money, and she saw an opportunity for a career after skating. She's now among a number of Olympians working in wealth management at big banks, which hope that the cachet of these athletic careers impresses prospective clients. UBS Wealth Management Americas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley all employ several retired Olympic athletes.
"I got addicted to saving, [and] I started investing at 14," said Samuelson, now a financial advisor for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Michigan. "Good, honest direction is lacking in the Olympic sphere when it comes to finances."