By his own estimate, Derek Sanderson who during the early 1970s was the highest-paid hockey player in the world, blew $3 million on bad investments, cocaine, alcohol, pills and—as myriad photos from that era will attest-ghastly lounge-lizard attire. By 1978 Sanderson, who commanded a $2.65 million contract from the Philadelphia Blazers of the short-lived World Hockey Association (SI, April 6), was sleeping in New York City's Central Park.
Today? Sanderson, 52, heads up the sports division for Boston-based State Street Research, a money-managing firm. As a senior vice president, Sanderson oversees the Sports Group, which represents about 100 athletes from every major sport. "Athletes are easy prey [for financial scam artists] because they pay attention to their game, not their money? says Sanderson. That's what Sanderson, once known as Turk, did. But after bottoming out, he spent most of the 1980s cleaning up his act-he went to 13 drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics—and spent the early '90s sitting behind a desk at another Boston money-management firm, Tucker Anthony, learning about finances. State Street took him on last October.
Last month the firm launched the State Street Research Athletes Fund, a Sanderson brainchild whose assets have grown to $8.4 million. The mutual fund is for athletes and others in pro sports, from family members to umpires. (No armchair quarterbacks.) The minimum investment for most is $25,000, though minor leaguers who aren't making major league bucks can put up a smaller sum. The fund consists of some 50 blue-chip stocks and is run with a conservative philosophy, something Turk may not have endorsed. Sanderson provides this advice, culled from years of experience: "Do as I say, not as I did."