The Retirement Account Death Threat

Tap My IRA!

Tap My IRA!

This one’s interesting.  Normally, you hear about clients threatening their brokers for giving them the wrong advice.  In this case, a man’s advisor tried to talk him out of tapping his IRA early in order to be spared from the early withdrawal penalty.  Was the client pleased with this advice?  Actually, no, he became homicidal.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Giving good advice can be dangerous, at least in New Jersey, where a 54-year-old man has been charged with making death threats against his financial adviser, who apparently was telling him not to tap his retirement account early.

Vincent Carroll was arrested at his Paramus home Sunday night and charged with making terroristic threats, according to a story in the Asbury Park Press.

Police say they traced threatening phone messages left on the home answering machine of a John Hancock employee who lives in Jackson, N.J., to Carroll. According to police, Carroll twice called the man demanding money from his own Individual Retirement Account.  The threats were against the financial planner, his wife and his parents, police said.

For an advisor working with clients in difficult economic times like these, there’s a thin line between giving advice and becoming a scapegoat for the financial pressures your client is feeling in general.

You can’t always stop a client from doing something stupid.  You can only make the suggestion that you feel is the appropriate one, but at the end of the day, it’s not your call. 

Oh, also, John Hancock shouldn’t have their advisors out trawling the docks for prospects.  They’re bound to pick up some dangerous accounts.


Tap My IRA Now Or I’ll Kill You  (WSJ)

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