The Fine Line of Planning for Friends and Family

Opiela, Nancy
August 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;Aug2004, Vol. 17 Issue 8, p36
Academic Journal
This article addresses strategies used by financial planners for establishing expectations and boundaries in personal and professional relationships with family and friends. It is essential that planners explain how personal the relationship between client and planner can become, even if friends and family members think they already know what planners do. Client-planner relationships can be more personal than patient-physician relationships, because most of clients will interact with the financial firm more often than they will with their doctor. Friends and family members need to understand that planners need full disclosure about their finances. Some people are just not comfortable letting their next-door neighbor know how much they earn or how large their capital losses are from the dot-com bubble. Planners stress too that once a friend or family member is accepted as a client, it is often necessary to put guidelines in place to make sure they receive the same service as other clients. To that end, friends and family should have the same regularly scheduled meetings, even receive the same newsletters and invitations as other clients. While some advisors provide discounts, others charge friends and family the regular rate.


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