Every advisor can tell a few war stories. Like the one about a client who came into the office demanding you follow the market timing style of a fringe radio personality. Or another who called you names because you refused to chase performance. Or the ones who lied about their finances and second-guessed your every decision.

Clients from hell are a much larger problem these days than they were a decade ago, says planner Katherine Vessenes of Shorewood, Minn. "Clients are more nervous and upset - and they are also more likely to sue," says Vessenes, who runs a planning practice, Vestment Financial, and is president of Vestment Advisors, a consulting firm to financial services companies.

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