Business owners sometimes create a great deal of wealth for themselves and their families, so it's understandable that many planners seek them out as clients. But current and former business owners are often not the easiest, most cooperative clients. Some can be independent to the point of prickliness, others may be sure that they know best and often need substantial persuasion before agreeing to take professional advice.

"They're a control-oriented group, very successful and used to calling the shots," says Karen Altfest, principal advisor and executive vice president for client relations at Altfest Personal Wealth Management in New York. "They've done something well, and they kind of can't get over it. If they wanted to do it all themselves, that's an option, but instead they come to argue with you."

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