Here’s the exam financial advisers should have to pass

What do you do when a client says he’s going to replace you with a new broker? Remind him he’s your son.

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1. A client asks you if the 400-point-an-hour loss in the stock market the past seven days should make him nervous. Your answer is:

A. “Did you watch Letterman last night?”
B. “Did you watch Leno last night?”
C. “Do you have any quarters for the meter?”
D. “You’re still talking to me?”

Answer: C. This shows you still have a car, which indicates your confidence in the market.

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2. You are invited to a client’s house for dinner to discuss his shrunken retirement portfolio. Your reply is:

A. “Thank you, but I’ve given up food.”
B. “Your best years are ahead of you. Eighty is the new 60.”
C. “I never eat without my personal food taster.”
D. “Do I know you?”

Answer: D. Never admit to knowing anyone except Warren Buffett, who is always referred to as Uncle Warren.

3. Your client asks why he should buy more stock when the market has declined 40 percent in two weeks. Your answer is:

A. “You’d rather buy paper towels?”
B. “Stocks can’t go any lower. Can they?”
C. “Because the Indian casino is closed today.”
D. “I really need the commission.”

Answer: D. Creating empathy with your client is important. Always have pictures of your children on your desk, assuming you still have a desk.

4. Your client asks why he shouldn’t find another adviser to replace you. You should:

A. Tell him that you’ve been practicing and will definitely get better.
B. Tell him if he does find another adviser to give you the phone number.
C. Become hard of hearing.
D. Remind him you’re his son.

Answer: C. Try the time-honored, “I’m sorry, did you say ‘buy’ or ‘why?’ ”

5. You have a meeting with a potential new client. He asks your “financial strategy.” You answer:

A. In Korean.
B. “I generally move my queen to rook four and then yell ‘checkmate’ no matter what.”
C. “Strategy? We don’t need no stinking strategy.”
D. “I think Trollope said it best.”

Answer: D. As Al Roker likes to say, “When in doubt, quote Trollope.”

6. The SEC accuses you of insider trading. Your best defense is:

A. A missile shield.
B. “I did it for the lovely wife and two gifted children I plan to acquire some day.”
C. “Do you have my phone number in Rio?”
D. “Can’t we all just get along?”

Answer: All of the above. Just ask Martha Stewart.

• Chuck Cohen writes humor from Mill Valley, Calif.

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