Financial Advisor Kendrick Sanker Discusses Importance of Finances In Athletics and how to Achieve Financial Success

Listen In With KNN” sports media host, Kelsey Nicole Nelson welcomed special guest, seasoned Financial Advisor Kendrick Sanker of Sanker Financial who has worked in the industry close to a decade. He’s part of the growing Northwestern Mutual financial representative portfolio.

Sanker is a former Hampton University football player now turned financial guru helping many people save and build wealth for the future. 

Nelson began her conversation with Sanker asking him about his childhood, his upbringing, and his initial love of sports. Sanker began playing sports in elementary school. He said, “Everything started when I attended Washington Jesuit Academy down in Northeast D.C. So that’s where I started playing sports like basketball, football, and soccer.” Sanker is the oldest of six children in a family of athletes. Sanker shared the family inspiration for playing spots. “If I’m being completely transparent, we were all actually inspired by our dad. My dad played college football at Colgate (University),” he said. Today, Sanker has one brother who plays for UVA and another brother who plays football at Princeton. 

Reflecting on his playing days, Sanker said “Hampton football was amazing. I feel like a lot of who I am today I can give credit to the program. We had to wake up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to be at practice at 5:30 a.m. So before any of the students actually got up, the early morning practices did a lot for me.” 

Nelson continues the conversation by asking Sanker his thoughts on the current HBCU sports landscape “ I do feel like HBCUs are trending in the right direction. I’ve seen a lot of great players get drafted. It has definitely gotten more exposure but even now in the present day. You see what coaches have done with NIL and even Coach Prime at Jackson State, has brought a lot of attention,” he said. 

The convo then continues with Nelson shedding light on how Sanker shifted his passion  from being a communications major followed by interning at USA Today and covering sports to working  in the finance industry. “Working at USA Today was definitely a dream. But I found the passion of having conversations with people about finances. I found out that I actually like financial planning,” he said. Through mentors in the industry, and hands-on experience, Sanker was able to obtain the necessary licenses to achieve his ultimate goal. 

When thinking of the financial world Nelson asked Sanker how he was able to break the barriers and stereotypes in the finance industry. Sanker mentioned the person that introduced him to Northwestern was a Howard alum. Sanker said, “He was in his early 20s and he asked me to come by the office to see if was a good fit. When I first opened the doors, I was shocked that from a gender perspective, it was 50% male and 50% female. It was many different ages.” 

Diving into the financial world, Nelson pivoted the conversation to getting financial advice for listeners, Sanker asking what the next steps would be for someone who is looking to build generational wealth. “Typically, I like to ask questions a lot. Personal questions pertaining to life insurance. Historically that’s the best tax efficient way of building generational wealth. Then it goes to what investments or savings that a person has toward retirement,” he said. Sanker also discussed where individuals can start their investment journey. “I might be very simple. I would start with a budget. I would even start with goals. I’m a very goal-oriented and time-oriented person,” he said. He explains that time is very important to understand what financial goals need to be met.

Being that there is a current rise in NIL deals with young student-athletes, Nelson asked Sanker if he thinks young athletes should be focusing on investing and building while in school. “Since I have a younger brother who plays college football at UVA, he is currently getting NIL money. I sat him down at the dinner table and we started off with a budget. We went over the entire budget to see what was left over. We set up automatic transfers into his investment and savings accounts,” he said. Sanker stressed how important it is for individuals to really build and focus on their finances. “I have an Excel document budget. There are a ton of apps like Mint, Rocket Money which I am a big fan of. All you have to do is link your bank account and you will be shocked about how much money you are spending from a daily to monthly basis,” he said when Nelson asked him about apps for athletes and individuals to help track their finances.

Listen to the full episode here.

Jasmine Pollock