Alex Rodriguez’s first investment was the purchase of a single duplex in Miami in 2003. The former Texas Rangers and New York Yankees slugger needed approximately $48,000 as a down payment; mere pocket change for a player who would sign the largest free-agent contract in Major League Baseball history at that point when he inked a 10-year, $275 million deal with the New York Yankees four years later.
From there Rodriguez created a real estate and development firm while managing his 22-year baseball career that featured 696 home runs, 3,115 hits, three MVPs, 14 All-Star nods, and a 2009 World Series title with the Yankees. He retired after the 2017 season with an MLB-record $480 million in career earnings.
Today, A-Rod Corp employs more than 500 people and manages both internal and external capital while investing in a diverse portfolio including real estate, sports and wellness, media and entertainment.
“Before investing you should take a timeout and do a few things,” Rodriguez said. “No. 1: knowledge is power, so obviously learn the game and try to surround yourself with the greatest team you can find. The biggest resource we all have is human capital. Athletes usually have access to the gift and curse of great people and not-the-greatest people as well, so making those decisions early are super important.
“Then I would say start small, but you can’t practice if you don’t play. Basically handing it off to a team and not being involved for me is not the ideal way. There’s a process but getting involved is really important.”
Rodriguez, who also serves as a baseball analyst for FOX Sports and a special advisor to the Yankees, has been hands-on with his business and investments since purchasing that first duplex. He and business partners founded Newport Property Construction, which has managed the renovation and development of more than $1.5 billion of residential, commercial and mixed-use assets since 2008. Monument Capital Management, founded by Rodriguez and Ramon Corona in 2012, has acquired more than $700 million of real estate assets across 13 states through opportunity funds and strategic joint ventures.
While he cut his teeth in real estate, Rodriguez sees the value in a diverse portfolio, expanding into sports and wellness.
A-Rod Corp purchased the rights to develop UFC-branded fitness facilities throughout Miami-Dade County in March 2017, invested in group fitness and yoga company TruFusion in July 2017 and acquired the franchise development rights for 20 locations across Florida. Rodriguez invested in IceShaker, a lifestyle brand specializing in water bottles and shaker cups, through Shark Tank, where A-Rod has served as a guest shark.
He and fellow shark and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran teamed up for a joint venture to acquire off-market rental properties in New York City’s hottest neighborhoods in June 2019.
Being a professional athlete and celebrity can have its advantages and disadvantages to business and investing, Rodriguez said.
“It’s what you make of it,” he said. “If you learn the rules of engagement and understand you need a great team—you need a great lawyer, a great business partner—so you hire people who are smarter than you and are always going to complement your superpowers. Then being an athlete and having access to that type of capital works in your favor.”
While Rodriguez kept his cards close to his chest in terms of future investment opportunities, he emphasized the importance of strengthening his team and getting “our bench to be stronger and deeper.”
“We’re always looking at what we think the world’s going to be in 10 years and how do we reverse engineer that?” he said. “It’s funny, people always look at history then try to apply their strategy moving forward. To me that doesn’t make much sense, really.”