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Attack Shows Why FAs Should Voice Client Concerns

June 29, 2017

Confronting a client who’s frittering away their wealth may be unpleasant, but probably not as much as being physically accosted by them and losing the relationship as a result, MarketWatch writes.

Cleveland-based financial planner Joe Heider tells the publication that he wishes he’d acted sooner with one client who was also at some point a friend.

Heider’s relationship with a tech entrepreneur stretched back to 1990 and by 2000 Heider became his advisor, according to MarketWatch. Heider had noticed his friend and now client sometimes gambled $100 on a football game and had the occasional drink, but didn’t say anything because the entrepreneur didn’t seem like an addict, he tells the publication.

But after a $7 million windfall from the sale of his business, Heider began noticing large withdrawals around the time of the Super Bowl and March Madness, according to the publication. Again, Heider didn’t say anything as the entrepreneur clearly had money and the financial plan Heider had set up for the client would take care of him for the rest of his life, MarketWatch writes.

But Heider eventually confronted his friend while staying at his house one weekend, telling him he was concerned about the pattern of substantial withdrawals he though could wipe out his friend’s wealth, he tells the publication.

His friend pushed Heider against a wall in response and told him to mind his own business, MarketWatch writes. Heider insisted, and the entrepreneur seemingly eased up on the gambling but it didn’t last: the gambling came back, as did the drinking just a few months later, and the entrepreneur eventually lost his home and went bankrupt, Heider tells the publication.

Two years later when Heider invited his now-ex-client to dinner, the former entrepreneur blamed Heider for not doing an intervention sooner to get him into rehab, MarketWatch writes.

Now, Heider tells the publication, he’s more assertive at the first sign of problems.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the MarketWatch article cited in this story, click here.