That puts Franklin in the unusual position of working up an investment plan for someone who is right out of college, with an NFL contract that guarantees their financial security as long as they don't get hurt, cut or suspended for contract or NFL league rule violations. Since he essentially has to deal with two thick layers of risk-market risk and the risk that a player could lose his contract-Franklin utilizes an ultraconservative strategy at the start of his clients' careers.

In a typical portfolio for a first-year NFL player, Franklin says, he will put 70% to 80% of the client's after-tax earnings into fixed-income vehicles. The vehicle is often municipal bonds, which Franklin feels are well suited for these types of clients. "I like the fact that they are federal and state tax free," he says. "The after-tax yield is good for a guy in a high tax bracket. Plus it gives me an income stream to build and accumulate capital."

The portfolios often get slightly more aggressive as a client's career progresses, he says, with the extent of change dependent on a client's risk tolerance. It's not unusual for the fixed-income portion to be scaled back to a 60% position in the client's second contract year.

Franklin charges an annual retainer fee for his services which, aside from investment management, includes bill-paying, consulting with clients on insurance and estate planning issues, and business management consulting. A central part of the investment strategy, he says, is to start preparing clients for their post-athletic careers as soon as they get their first contract, Franklin says. "The strategy is to have that money guaranteed no matter what," he says.

Aside from investment management, the other core component of the firm's work is client education. Franklin considers education vital because of the makeup of his client base. His clients are typically young and fresh out of college, with their first steady job coming in the form of a multi-million-dollar contract.

They've also already been exposed to a lot of people knocking on their doors with a number of ideas on how they should invest, or spend, their money, Franklin notes. "It takes a lot of effort to get my message across," Franklin says. "The focus of most of the young people is on spending."

Some people are never going to get the message, he says, which is why introductory meetings are partly aimed at deciding whether Franklin and the prospect are a good match.

"One client I like to stay away from is the checking account client," he says. "Those are the clients who always call you to wire money for them but who are never interested in educating themselves on true financial planning."

Marilyn Franklin, who oversees operations at the firm, says another common trait of pro athletes is that they often come out of college with debt.

It could be a combination of credit card debt, personal loans or family debt they've taken upon themselves, she says. "A lot of the clients are from single-parent homes and their mothers have accumulated a lot of debt to put them through school," she says. "It's not just the client, it's the client and their family."