From the May 2010 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Of Morale and Leverage

One of the major problems with hiring your spouse into your practice may not be you or your spouse, but your existing staff. How are your employees supposed to respond if your spouse does substandard work, allows important tasks to fall between the cracks, or acts as if the office rules don't apply to them? If it were a new employee, your existing employees would tell you about it, so you could fix it. With your spouse, they probably won't tell you. How's that going to affect morale?

You might also consider that an advisor's staff is there to leverage the advisor, both to grow the firm and to have the lifestyle the advisor wants. If your spouse is off on vacation with you, who's back minding the store? Does one of your other employees have to fill in for your spouse while the two of you are cavorting in Las Vegas? Or is the spouse's job so irrelevant that it doesn't matter if they're there? Either way, in my experience this scenario doesn't play well with staff.

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