Borris Becker was a bit of a childhood hero for me. My sisters and I used to stay up and watch Wimbledon on the colour TV and I can still remember the bloke thundering away at lesser opponents on the tennis court while winning Wimbledon back in the 80’s. There were other iconic tennis players throughout the years, but Becker stood out.

By any measure, the bloke made a tonne of money. Estimates range from $USD 25M and up just on court – serious cash from a time when a million bucks actually meant something. How could he go from those lofty heights to a 2.5 year jail sentence in April of 22 for breaching the terms of his 2017 bankruptcy?

The short answer is bad personal decision making over the years – particularly on the love / lust front. And now, all these years later that I have grown up to become a trained tax accountant, I wonder what can we learn from Becker’s wipe out? Here’s my top 3 things:

  1. Know your balance sheet – apparently Borris failed to disclose a whole heap of assets to the bankruptcy court. Interestingly, he claimed that he had “no idea” where a lot of his valuables were, including key trophies. A good idea for everyone is to sit down and commit their balance sheet to a simple excel spreadsheet. I spend a lot of time doing this with clients who thank me for illustrating to them in easy to understand numbers what their net worth actually is. 
  2. Simplicity is king – keeping things simple is the key to financially thriving. I have often said to clients that simply keeping their existing job, paying off their existing home, and focusing on getting to $1.7M per member inside their existing superfund is all they need to do to have a great financial life. In Australia, buying boring bank or supermarket shares is another key to financial success hiding in plain sight. However, this seemingly simple and straight path is often strayed from thanks the standard vicissitudes of life and the tendency for humans act on emotion rather than logic. Those who can act with equanimity and patience in the face of massive turmoil will ultimately win. 
  3. Romantic relationships have serious financial implications – Becker had a well-documented and pathological inability to stay faithful. With at least 3 different kids to 3 different mothers, it was kind of inevitable that his earnings and estate would be decimated at some point. It just happened sooner rather than later for him given the fashion in which he conducted himself romantically. I often say to a whole variety of people, there are 4 things (possibly more) that humans should have to pass a test on before being allowed to do; buying a pet, incorporating a private company, making a baby & getting married. The fact that people need so much warning and fine print before signing a mortgage or entering a mobile phone contract, but nothing at all before baby making strikes me as supremely ironic given the gravity and irreversibility of the latter. Another mentor of mine described serious relationships and baby making to me as follows and I see his point; “Blox, it’s like hell. Really easy to get in, impossible to get out.” This state of current affairs also suggests that anyone who wants a bullet proof career of super high earnings, guaranteed longevity and endless streams of work should simply practice family law.

To discuss your balance sheet and streamline your financial life, call Chris at Solve on 0414 985 724 or email