Increasingly strident headlines about social and economic tension might have your clients on the defensive, but soothing fears and finding solutions is part of how any advisor adds value.
The most recent survey of high-net-worth family concerns indicates that the rich "feel increasingly targeted" after the 2008-9 recession and now 40% think they are likely to have to defend their activities in court.
Before the recession, just 7% of these people were worries about their personal legal liabilities, so there is definitely a great awakening of sorts going on here.
The survey is sponsored by high-net-worth insurance firm ACE Private Risk Services, and as such they obviously have an interest in playing on fear to drum up business.
However, advisors do not have to recommend or even really be aware of ACE products to pick up this ball and run with it.
If your clients are afraid of the way society is moving, it's important to get that fear on the table. It's part of their risk profile and their financial plans ultimately need to reflect it.
For some, the answer might be an asset protection trust or other vehicle designed to separate their personal liability from their property.
Others may be content with a few brainstorming situations and conclude that things really aren't so bad.
Either way, if you're the one talking to your clients about these things, you're proving once again that you're essential.
And if you're nervous about stepping into sensitive territory, just open the subject with hypotheticals. "I read a survey recently that said some families in your position are nervous. What's your take?"