Saving for Stability

Jul 1, 2024

Nadine Wong, a Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisor, offers guidance on how to build up your savings.

Hosted by Chris Evert



Hi, I'm Chris Evert.  Welcome to Episode 2 of What Moves You, an audio miniseries for Morgan Stanley in support of the WTA. We're here to talk about some of the most common questions you have about money with Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisor Nadine Wong. Questions like the ones I had over the course of my career.

Hi, I'm Nadine Wong. I'm a Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisor and a Global
Sports and Entertainment Director. I specialize in serving the unique and complex needs of professional athletes and entertainers.


When I first started playing, I was a teenager, and trust me, I had no concept of saving. But over time, I learned how important it was. 

As tennis players, we often have erratic streams of income – a tournament cheque here, a sponsorship there. For most players, it's nothing like receiving a regular paycheck from a day job. Nadine says financial stability comes down to one major point.




But the big question is, how MUCH should you be saving every year ... or month ... or week? And how do you do that, especially when you’re starting out?

First, you want to make sure you have at least a couple of months’ worth of living expenses immediately available in your checking account for day-to-day use. Refer to your budget to understand your monthly fixed expenses.

Next, you need to build up an emergency fund.  This is important for anyone, but especially you as an athlete -- you need to have a cushion so you can be prepared for any unexpected costs that might come your way.  What if you need to take a break from playing to recover from an injury.

As a general rule, a strong emergency fund should be able to cover between 6 to 12 months’ worth of living expenses.

Get into the habit of saving some money every time you get paid -- you won't miss it if you never got used to having it in the first place, before long you'll have a nice "rainy day fund."

Overall, you’re looking to work towards 60 - 30 - 10. That’s sixty percent of your income going to your fixed costs, including taxes. 30% going towards savings and debt repayment, and 10% going towards variable spending.   

When you’re starting out, building up these savings can feel overwhelming but it doesn’t need to happen overnight. Saving is similar to training - you don’t see all your gains in one workout. It takes many deliberate training sessions to achieve the results you want and create a solid foundation.

So - is there ever a good time to splurge on something big and expensive? You have to go back to your budget -- are all your NEEDS covered? Are you paying down your expensive debt? Is your emergency fund in a good place?

One of the most important skills when it comes to saving is mastering the art of saying no. You have to stay disciplined in the face of "FOMO" - fear of missing out. This is especially true for expenses I’ll label as “wishes.” An exotic trip? A pair of designer shoes? For those things, try saying "not right now." While you're still building up your savings, categorize carefully between needs vs. wishes and wants. Find smaller, less expensive things that give you pleasure, in moderation. That can keep you motivated. 



It can be so tempting to use that first big win to splurge on something exciting, like a car.  Unless, of course, you're winning them by winning a tournament. But it's important to save and build up that baseline of financial stability. Remember, just because you're making a lot of money doesn't mean you can spend a lot of money.

Thanks for listening to What Moves You. I'm Chris Evert. Next time… you've got a healthy amount saved, you've just booked a big sponsorship and your finances are looking good, for now at least. So what can you do to keep it that way?

A professional tennis career can be unpredictable. Building a savings plan to cover the cost of the unknowns allows you to concentrate on what you can control -  your game.


For a career athlete, financial stability begins with an important idea: saving. Imagine how comforting it would be to have an emergency fund in place that can help get you through an injury and recovery. Nadine Wong, a Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Advisor, offers guidance on how to build up your savings.

Listen to More

Check out more What Moves You audio episodes with Chris Evert, or listen to other Morgan Stanley podcasts.