From kicking goals to setting goals: Premiership-winning Sydney Swans player Ted Richards
Former AFL player Ted Richards has more than 260 first grade games under his belt but unbeknownst to many he was also kicking goals off the field, tackling a commerce degree while still playing footy.
He hung up his boots in 2016 and put theory into practice and now finance is his full-time gig.
Ted discusses his days playing for Essendon and the Swans and how he made the giant leap from footy to finance.
What’s one of your fondest memories of your time playing AFL?
Winning big football games in front of 100,000 people is certainly euphoric, especially a premiership, but when I reflect on my AFL career it’s the little things along the way and the friendships that I made that I’m most fond of.
What was the hardest part of having sport as your full-time job?
The expectation to win each contest, every quarter, week after week can be relentless. It can make you doubt yourself if you’re not careful. I remember Maria Sharapova said that she received a text message from Billie Jean King before a grand slam final one year, which read: “Champions take chances. Pressure is a privilege.” I loved that quote and that’s how I tried to view the constant pressure – as a privilege.
What was the best part of having sport as your full-time job?
I was lucky enough to be paid to do something that I had a real passion for. I was also fortunate to play in a premiership and play in finals most years of my football career, which people assume are the best part. I’m not going to lie, as they were great, but what I actually miss most about football is working hard together in a team environment to achieve something big together.
What made you decide to pursue a career in finance?
I really liked the investing aspect – both the process and the outcome. I enjoy the process of studying and analysing investments, but most of all I really enjoy the outcome of investing and watching it grow, who doesn’t enjoy this? I love it so much that I started my own podcast called The Richards Report discussing the basics of investing.
What was the transition like from footy to finance?
It wasn’t easy. I completed a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Applied Finance while I was playing football and worked the last six years of my AFL career before moving into my current role as Business Development Manager with online investment service Six Park. It’s both challenging and exciting going from one industry into another.
Is there anything you learned during your AFL career that has helped you in your new career?
Hard work, attention to detail and resilience are all transferable from one career to another. Hard work is relevant to any career path no matter where you work. The best football players don’t just rely on talent and I think ‘grit’ is a fantastic quality to have, irrespective of what line of work you’re in. Attention to detail is important as football games can be decided by just one kick. With investing, small differences in fees may not seem like much, but they add up and can erode your returns over time. Resilience is important too because you will lose contests and games in football from time to time. Similarly, investments will not always go up in value – you can’t always be on top. You need to have resilience when you don’t get the right outcome, learn from it and stick to your plan.