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Why Should I Become a Sports and Entertainment Wealth Manager?

By: Kaplan Financial Education
June 21, 2022
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A career in wealth management for the sports and entertainment industries offers the exciting opportunity to work with athletes and entertainers from around the world and guide them on their financial journeys. This specialized type of wealth manager can expect a lucrative and rewarding career as well as the chance to make a real impact in their clients’ lives. In this article, we provide a comprehensive overview of why and how to become a certified sports and entertainment wealth manager.

What does a sports and entertainment wealth manager do?

A sports and entertainment wealth manager is a type of wealth manager who works with high-net-worth clients in the sports and entertainment industries. They help their clients overcome the distinct financial challenges they face in their careers. From a sudden wealth event to uneven or multiple income streams, these professionals have added complexities in their financial lives and require a qualified advisor who can handle their specialized needs. The chart below showcases some examples of the clients you might work with as a sports and entertainment wealth manager. 


Sports Wealth Management Clients

Entertainment Wealth Management Clients

  • Athletes

  • Coaches

  • Team owners

  • General managers

  • Sports agents

  • Songwriters

  • Recording artists

  • Music executives

  • Actors

  • Directors 

  • Social Influencers


Unique Dynamics and Challenges of Sports and Entertainment Wealth Management Clients

Every profession in the sports and entertainment industries is unique and has its own earning profile and career span. Professionals who work in these industries need an accredited sports and entertainment wealth manager who understands the unusual dynamics and challenges they may face, including: 

  • A sudden wealth event

  • Uneven cash flow

  • Multi-sourced income streams

  • Variable career spans

  • Lifestyle maintenance

  • A broad network of influencers

  • Physical, emotional, and behavioral risks with potentially long-term impacts

Benefits to Becoming a Sports and Entertainment Wealth Manager

Wealth management is a rewarding financial career with steady industry growth, job flexibility, and high earning potential. As a wealth manager, you can choose to specialize in the types of clients you work with, becoming an expert in a specific industry and ultimately garnering a higher perception of authority in the marketplace. For example, you could become a sports and entertainment wealth manager and work exclusively with athletes and entertainers. Becoming a sports and entertainment wealth manager has numerous benefits, including:

  • Income potential. As a sports and entertainment wealth manager, you have the opportunity to earn more by taking on as many high-net-worth clients as you can handle.

  • A flexible work schedule. Sports and entertainment wealth managers have the flexibility to create a work schedule that suits their needs, unlike other career paths that follow a traditional 9-to-5 schedule.

  • The chance to work with interesting clients. Sports and entertainment wealth managers often work with famous, high-profile clientele as well as rising stars.

  • An opportunity to make a meaningful impact. As a sports and entertainment wealth manager, you have the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives – from helping them grow their businesses to planning for retirement and leaving a legacy.

Sports and Entertainment Wealth Manager Salaries

You can expect to make a competitive salary as a wealth manager working with high-net-worth sports and entertainment clients. According to data from Glassdoor, the average salary of a wealth manager in the United States is $84,668 per year, with additional pay from commission and other bonuses bringing the total up to $100,039. Salaries will range depending on your experience, client base, and credentials, but Glassdoor cites the wealth manager salary range as anywhere from $25,456 to $490,786 per year. 

What skills do you need to be a sports and entertainment wealth manager?

Wealth management is a client-focused industry, and as a sports and entertainment wealth manager, you’ll be working with high-net-worth clients and dealing with sensitive financial information. Some soft skills that will help you succeed as a sports and entertainment wealth manager include:

  • Communication skills. You’ll be working closely with clients, so strong communication skills are critical to this career path. The ability to hold productive conversations and actively listen will help you build relationships and establish a strong client base.

  • Integrity. Wealth managers often deal with sensitive, private information about their clients’ assets, so integrity is critical to their roles. Sports and entertainment wealth managers, specifically, may work with high-profile clientele, so having a reputation for discretion will be key in attracting and maintaining clients.

  • Analytical skills. One of the top requirements of all types of wealth managers is the ability to analyze and interpret data into logical information for your clients.

  • Customer service. Prioritizing your clients’ needs and responding to them in a timely manner will help you build relationships and maintain customer satisfaction.

  • Problem-solving. Being able to solve your clients’ unique financial problems and overcome challenges will be critical to your success as a sports and entertainment wealth manager.

  • Proactivity. Sports and entertainment wealth managers devise proactive and assertive financial strategies for their clients, acting in anticipation of future needs.

  • Market awareness. Spotting investment opportunities and staying on top of market trends will allow you to successfully advise your clients.

Education to Become a Sports and Entertainment Wealth Manager

Sports and entertainment wealth managers have an in-depth and broad knowledge of the stock market, tax laws, banking, and more. Most wealth managers hold a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business, or a related field; some may even hold a master’s degree or doctorate in wealth management. In addition to a college education, competitive wealth managers also hold certifications that demonstrate their commitment to learning and showcase their expertise. Wealth management certifications like the AWMA® designation and the SE-AWMASM designation set you apart from other wealth managers and prepare you to handle your clients’ financial needs.

What is the SE-AWMASM designation?

The Sports & Entertainment Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM (SE-AWMASM) designation is the certification you receive after successfully completing the SE-AWMASM designation program offered by the College for Financial Planning® (CFFP)—a Kaplan company. The SE-AWMASM designation is the first and only professional designation from an accredited college or university designed to prepare advisors to address the sophisticated financial planning needs to help high-net-worth sports and entertainment clients protect, grow, and transfer their wealth. Earning the SE-AWMASM mark reinforces your credibility with sports and entertainment wealth management clients and proves you have the specialized knowledge needed to help them navigate their unique financial challenges.

What if I have already received the AWMA® designation? 

If you have already received the Accredited Wealth Management Advisor® (AWMA®) designation from the College for Financial Planning, you are well on your way to earning your SE-AWMASM designation. You only need to complete the Sports & Entertainment (SE) Supplemental Education for the AWMA® program to earn the SE-AWMASM designation. This additional course module will build on the wealth management knowledge you learned in the AWMA® designation program and train you to handle the specialized financial needs of athletes and entertainers.

What is the SE-AWMASM program?

The College’s SE-AWMASM program prepares advisors to address the sophisticated financial planning needs to help high-net-worth sports and entertainment clients protect, grow, and transfer their wealth. The program augments your existing skills, so you’ll be able to analyze and evaluate different planning strategies that account for sports and entertainment clients’ unique circumstances, including:

  • Qualitative planning

  • Trusts

  • Investments

  • Employee and retirement benefits

  • Cash flow, budgeting, and tax planning

  • Business planning 

  • Estate planning

Coursework in the SE-AWMASM program utilizes real-world situations and case studies to illustrate planning techniques instantly applicable to your practice. The program is delivered via the College’s exclusive online learning platform. Enrollment includes your choice of Live Online classes or OnDemand classes, a learning platform to access course materials and study resources, and expert instructors providing personalized guidance in class and via email as you study from your online learning platform. 

How to Earn the SE-AWMASM Designation 

See below for the step-by-step process on how to earn the SE-AWMASM designation:

  1. Complete the College for Financial Planning’s online SE-AWMASM program in 120 days or less (this includes taking and passing the final exam). The modules cover getting to know your high-net-worth client; investment risk, return, and performance; advanced investment products and strategies; considerations for business owners; income tax planning for high-net-worth clients; executive benefits planning for high-net-worth-clients; estate planning for high-net-worth clients; fiduciary and regulatory issues for financial services professionals; and special issues for athletes and entertainers.

  2. Take a module quiz after each class.

  3. Pass the final exam, which is taken online through your learning platform.

  4. Upon graduating from the program, apply for the SE-AWMASM designation.

What are the benefits of earning the SE-AWMASM designation?

There are multiple benefits of earning the SE-AWMASM designation, including:

  • Reinforcing credibility with clients in the sports and entertainment industries by earning the only professional designation from an accredited college or university focused on the wealth management of this special client segment.

  • Gaining specialized knowledge to address the unique circumstances and financial planning needs of clients in these niche segments, such as the unique tax, retirement, and estate implications.

  • Distinguishing yourself from other advisors to help expand your client base by becoming an accredited sports and entertainment wealth manager.

  • Earning stackable credits toward our CFP® certification education program or Master of Science Degree.

How long does it take to get the SE-AWMASM designation?

How long it takes to get the SE-AWMASM designation depends on how quickly you finish the College for Financial Planning’s program. Students have a maximum of 120 days to complete the SE-AWMASM program, including passing the final exam. The program is delivered online through your choice of classes. You can either take the Live Online option, which has a fixed schedule, or the OnDemand option, which you can start anytime and complete at your own pace. On average, students should commit to 8-10 hours per week of studying and expect to spend a minimum of 135 hours in course-related activities. 

Are SE-AWMA program credits transferable?

Looking to advance your finance career even further by building upon your SE-AWMASM designation? Graduates of the SE-AWMASM program receive credit that you can use towards your next credential, saving you time and money. If you’re interested in pursuing your CFP® certification or master of science degree, here’s how credits from the SE-AWMASM designation will transfer: