Personal finance

Here’s how NFL linebacker Brandon Copeland is investing his money

NFL linebacker Brandon Copeland understands the importance of investing his money.

In fact, the New York Jet spends about 10% of his salary and saves the rest.

“This career can end at any moment. Any money I make I’m trying to extrapolate that out for life, I’m trying to save as much as possible,” he said.

To do that, Copeland is putting money into the stock market, real estate and private start-up ventures.

“Having those multiple income streams, I feel like it’s amazing, you never are dependent on one single thing,” he said.

He’s also focused on the long term when it comes to the stock market.

“When I came into the league years ago, I was trading options and day-trading options,” said Copeland, a member of the CNBC Invest in You Financial Wellness Council.

“It was because I didn’t have a lot of money and I wanted to flip it quickly.”

New York Jets linebacker Brandon Copeland

Icon Sportswire | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

Copeland soon came to realize that he couldn’t spend all his time focusing on the market. Instead, he said he’s now realistic about his risk tolerance and wants to be sure he’s invested “comfortably” so that he doesn’t have to worry when the market has a down day.

Copeland was fortunate to come into the NFL with a firm financial background. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School in 2013 and held a couple of internships on Wall Street.

He’s now using his own work experiences to help others.

For one, he started his foundation, Beyond the Basics, which gives back to the community by hosting a youth football camp and other events.

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For the second year in a row, the organization is giving away a holiday shopping spree at Target this December to 100 underprivileged kids in New Jersey. He’s partnered with other players from the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys to do the same in their hometowns.

Copeland is also teaching a class on financial literacy at his alma mater. Part of it focuses on how to invest in the stock market. Here’s his advice to getting started on investing.

Be informed

Copeland tells his students “before you even put a dollar into anything,” download investing apps and turn on the notifications. This way, you can keep up with what’s happening in the market — like when the indexes hit new highs, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq did on Monday.

Having those multiple income streams, I feel like it’s amazing, you never are dependent on one single thing.

Brandon Copeland

New York Jets

That’s especially important for Copeland, since he’s focused on winning football games right now and can’t pay close attention to the market.

“Because I’m getting the notifications, I still have somewhat of an idea of where things are,” he said.

Focus on your interests

When it comes to picking stocks, stick with what you have an interest in.

If you like shoes, for example, you can look into Nike, Adidas or Under Armour, he said.

On the flip side, if you don’t have any idea about health care, don’t start trying to invest in a pharmaceutical company, he added.

While Copeland likes to be involved in certain names and take some risk, he is also starting to invest in some index funds. Those funds mirror a particular index, like the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust.

Think long term

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