WPMT FOX43 | News in Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lebanon News, Weather, Sports

Fantasy finances: could fantasy football help you manage your money?

YORK, Pa — Fumble, pick six, touchback. These are terms the millions of Americans who play fantasy football understand. 401k, IRA, compounding interest. T...

YORK, Pa -- Fumble, pick six, touchback.

These are terms the millions of Americans who play fantasy football understand.

401k, IRA, compounding interest.

These are terms a lot fewer people really comprehend.

According to American Express, 75 million people play fantasy football, but financial experts say only a fraction of those people really understand how to manage their money.

Sean Clark, the CEO of York Independents, INC. says most people already have all the tools they need to understand finances, they just don't realize it.

"It's all about winning at the end of the day, isn't it?"

Clark says people who play in fantasy leagues can learn a thing or two about finance just by drafting the perfect team.

"We have the different positions and the different players and i have some ideas on how to equate that to finance."

Clark says picking a team, is all about risk and reward.

If a player is great but is injury prone, is that a risk you're willing to take?

Like Tennessee Titans’ Quarterback Marcus Mariota.

He’s a rookie who could be great or could stumble his way through the season.

Experts say that pick is similar to investing in tricky stocks like solar power or new technologies and trying to get the biggest pay off.

"You can't be all completely focused on just one player. diversification means spreading the risk, diversification means making sure that you're covered in a number of different ways,” said Clark.

Clark also says people who manage fantasy teams need to be flexible and roll with the punches.

He says playing a guy like New England Patriots’ Wide Receiver Julian Edelman is a great example of that.

"He was a quarterback in college, he decided to switch to be a wide receiver because he figured that was the best way to get into the nfl. so we can make adjustments with our portfolio as well when things change."

Some of the changes you may see in your finance life Clark says are getting married or divorced, having a child or even losing job.

Sticking with Patriots, Clark saying picking a tight end like Rob Gronkowski for your fantasy team seems like an easy pick.

"He's universally considered the best fantasy option for that position, it's a no-brainer. just like free money is a no-brainer."

That free money Clark is referring to would be something like a 401k.

He says you should be contributing at least the amount your employer will match.

Clark believes managing your fantasy team over the course of a season, is similar to managing your money month to month, or even year to year.

In order to be successful, you need to plan ahead.

"Budget well. figured out what's coming in, what's going out. capture whatever you can to pay yourself. build an emergency fund, once that's accomplished focus on eliminating the debt."

Now, if all of this is still confusing you, Clark says to get an expert's advice.

“Even the best sports players have coaches and that's the rule a financial adviser can be for you."