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Here's a look inside Tony Hawk's wallet

Tony Hawk is one of the best skateboarders around, but you might not know what he's been up to lately. Here's a look inside his wallet, how he manages his money and the best financial advice he's ever received.

Tony Hawk Inc.

Tony Hawk is known as one of the world's best professional skateboarders. He landed the first documented "900" (which requires a 900 degree rotation in mid-air) and was one of the first inductees to the Skateboarding Hall of Fame in 2009.

But it's been 20 years since he retired from competition in 1999. In the years since, he's become a successful entrepreneur, building a brand that includes a billion-dollar video game franchise and launching a number of businesses including Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing and the Tony Hawk Signature Series sporting goods and toys.

CNBC Select caught up with the skateboarder and entrepreneur by phone while he was at Dreamforce 2019, to discuss what he carries in his wallet, the best financial advice he's ever received and his advice for new business owners.

What's in Tony Hawk's wallet

Hawk carries the essentials, such as credit and debit cards, cash, his driver's license and insurance cards in his wallet.

"I'm a firm believer in always having at least a few twenties for whatever purpose, usually for tips," Hawk says.

Some of the more interesting things found in his wallet include a Chipotle burrito card, which entitles him to a free burrito every day for the rest of his life, Cinépolis Diamond Access card for free movies and Legoland Ambassador card for unlimited admission to all Legoland Parks during his lifetime.

Hawk prefers to redeem credit card rewards for travel about 90% of the time. Otherwise he usually opts for dining gift cards. Travel and gift card redemptions are a smart choice since they usually offer some of the best value.

Some travel cards offer added value on eligible redemptions and most rewards cards provide 1:1 value on gift card redemptions. For example, 5,000 points with the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are worth up to $50 in gift cards. And when you book a flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points, you get 35% of those points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year. Terms apply.

The best financial advice Hawk's received

"Early on, my dad saw that I was making really good money at a young age, and he didn't know how long that would last," Hawk says. "I wasn't thinking of the future in that sense, and he encouraged me to invest my money in real estate."

Investing as a teen helped Hawk establish a safety net. "This might all end tomorrow, you have to invest your money while you have it," Hawk's father would tell him.

Early investments also provided a starting point for his various start-ups, such as the Tony Hawk Foundation, which helps create public skateboard parks in low-income communities.

Hawk's advice for new business owners

"Learn every aspect of your field or the business you're getting into," Hawk says.

While you may have the passion or idea, if you don't have an understanding of how all the pieces fit, your business venture can go awry very quickly.

"Become an expert in all different areas, including ones you weren't really interested in."

Are you a new business owner looking for credit? Check out the best small business credit cards.

This story is part of CNBC Select's What's in Your Wallet series, which profiles celebrities and media personalities on the contents of their wallet and the best financial advice they've received. For interview recommendations, email allie.white@nbcuni.com.

Don't miss CNBC Select's What's In Your Wallet with: Shaquille O'Neal, Tessa Thompson, Arianna HuffingtonTony Hawk, Lindsey Vonn, Ariana Huffington, and Bobby Berk.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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