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LOOKIN' LIKE TWO MILLION BUCKS
FRANZ LIDZ
May 09, 2011
He has been out of the top 10 in all but 25 of his 338 starts on the PGA Tour, but as long as he keeps making cuts, Joe Ogilvie and others like him should have no worries after golf, thanks to the best retirement plan in sports
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May 09, 2011

Lookin' Like Two Million Bucks

He has been out of the top 10 in all but 25 of his 338 starts on the PGA Tour, but as long as he keeps making cuts, Joe Ogilvie and others like him should have no worries after golf, thanks to the best retirement plan in sports

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Reform first came to the PGA Tour package in the late 1990s by way of two more performance-based plans developed partly to motivate players to enter more events and partly to satisfy IRS guidelines. The first compensated players for placing among the top 70 in each of three season segments. (They earned contributions ranging from $4,000 to $360,000. However, marquee players such as Tiger Woods still weren't motivated to play more. Though Woods dominated on the course, because he competed in only 15 events in 2006 he was allowed to vest at only 62%.) The second offered a bonus for finishing in the top 150 on that year's money list. The cash was divvied up in roughly the same way as tournament prize money.

Four years ago those two programs were replaced by the FedEx Cup, which awarded $35 million in bonus money to the top 150 (now 125) qualifiers in a NASCAR-like points race. During the Cup's inaugural season, in 2007, the entire $10 million first prize was added to the retirement fund of the champion, Woods.

In the wake of projections that Woods could stockpile a $1 billion retirement fund by winning the Cup six more times, the outlay was changed so that the winner now receives $9 million up front and a deferred contribution of $1 million. The other top 10 finishers get most of their money in cash too. Everyone else is paid into their pension accounts. "I think the Tour has done a fairly good job in addressing the players' concerns about the old system," says Ogilvie.

Tour sponsor Charles Schwab administers the accounts. The 21 mutual-fund-investment options range in volatility and risk from equities to fixed-income and cash. "No real estate or hedge funds," Ogilvie says. His portfolio is heavy on value funds. "The key is not to lose money—if you do, the interest is really tough to compound."

Investing, he muses, is a lot like golf. "Except that if you're disciplined, investing is a lot easier than golf," he says. "Say I'm facing a 230-yard par-3 left-to-right into the wind and over water. I might think, I'd like to skip that hole. But I can't. With investing, if I don't like a fund, I don't have to buy it."

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