Geier Financial

Guarding athletes’ assets

Daily Record Business Writer
August 24, 2009 8:06 PM

To the average retiree, $50,000 a year in investment income when you’re 65 years old isn’t a bad deal.

But to a 45-year-old former baseball player who was making twice that amount before the recession — and needs his money to last him the rest of his life — it’s a big reality check that can be difficult to take.

Joseph Geier manages the investments for about 60 retired and current athletes.Last year’s stock market plunge, which saw many investment portfolios lose nearly half their value, has caused some retired athletes to make living adjustments and is proving a cautionary tale to those still in the game, advisors to professional and retired athletes say.

Joseph Geier, president of Geier Financial Group in Marriottsville, said the last 12 months have been stressful as head of a company that manages approximately $150 million in assets for about 70 high-net worth clients and 60 retired and current athletes including Cal Ripken Jr., Mark Teixeira and Melvin Mora.

Geier said his company takes a very conservative management style to investments, and the average portfolio under his purview lost 10 to 20 percent of its value while the market lost 40 percent of its value. But when you’re talking about this kind of money, a 20 percent portfolio loss is still in the millions.

Of the athletes, mostly baseball players, he said the retirees are affected most by the downturn.

“They don’t have ability to replace that money that was lost as quickly as someone who’s sill working,” Geier said. “A guy loses 10 percent of his portfolio and he’s only 45 and he’s not working anymore.”