JACKSONVILLE – Sen'Derrick Marks knows more today than he did Monday.
He's a little less afraid, too – and that was the reason the Jaguars' veteran defensive tackle attended the NFL Personal Finance Camp this week.
It wasn't on-field fear that Marks overcame. Rather, it was fear of the financial unknown – and he said he took significant steps in that area the past four days in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"I was a guy that was very cautious about my money, and what I'm spending, but I was more cautious because I was scared," Marks said this week. "I had a lack of knowledge. I've always been scared of the stock market. You hear about it going broke and the economy going down.
"I never wanted to take a chance because I was always scared. It was lack of knowledge."
Marks, preparing for his fourth season with the Jaguars, was among 28 current and former NFL players who participated in the second annual NFL Personal Finance Camp Monday through Thursday. Green Bay Packers linebacker Julius Peppers, Chicago Bears safety Antrel Rolle and Detroit Lions linebackers Stephen Tulloch also participated in four-day financial education program.
"The Personal Finance Camp offers players the education and means to better manage their money and start to build generational wealth to secure their financial futures," NFL vice president of player engagement Charles Way said.
NFL Player Engagement developed the program along with the University of Miami School of Business Administration and TD Ameritrade to give players a chance to become familiar with "the people, investments and forces in the financial world" and to equip them "with the knowledge and tools to help them build generational wealth and maintain long-term financial security."
"We've designed the program specifically for past and current players to help them achieve long-term financial security," University of Miami School of Business Administration director of executive education David Lecon said.
Players met with Miami Business Administration faculty and TD Ameritrade financial professionals. They also met with former NFL All-Pro defensive end Patrick Kerney, who is now the director of business development at National Fire & Casualty Investments.
Players also received receive one-on-one financial planning assistance.
"The thing that caught my attention is we have professional people who are in that market, and they're teaching about it without an incentive," Marks said. "When you're an NFL player, you don't find many people who talk to you about finances and investment who aren't doing it thinking of you as an NFL player and saying, 'I want you to invest with me.'
"These guys are professionals and teachers at the University of Miami and they're people who do it every single day, and they're just teaching us."
Program sessions included "Building Generational Wealth," "Funding an Uncertain Lifespan," "Planning and Building Your Portfolio," and "Examining Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning."
"This whole program is about generational wealth, how to take what we have and make it last," Marks said. "You hear guys talk about saving, and investing, and being smart with your money. I was always listening and thought I was learning, but I didn't know as much as I could have.
"I got a lot of insight into that this week. Now, when I talk to young players, I can tell them more than, 'Hey, save your money.' I can tell them there's a process to it and that they can do it.''