Paul Meloan – Vested Interest

Private Wealth magazine alerts its readers (people who advise wealthy people, not the wealthy themselves) in their July-Aug, 2010 issue that wealthy people have peculiar security risks that come with, well, being wealthy people.

Private Wealth apparently spared no effort in interviewing at least several representatives from private security firms that sell their services to wealthy people for thousands of dollars per year.  Each seemed happy to come up with ways wealthy people can be victimized.  Ex-girlfriends shake you down, people will check your kids’ Facebook pages for info on your comings and goings, nannies infiltrate the home.  In their words, “the rich are constantly surrounded by people who can do them harm.”

Holy Nancy Grace!

Of course, they never offer up any specific examples of any of the aforementioned harm actually befalling anyone.  Just like many great urban legends (“yeah, this really happened to a friend of mine……”) most of these don’t let the facts interfere with a good ghost story.  In support of the idea that the rich can be kidnapped, they dredge up an 18 year old case of an Exxon exec kidnapped and killed by a deranged former employee, a 17 year old case of a clothing exec who was kidnapped by a deranged former employee, and a seven year old case of a hedge-fund manager kidnapped by, wait for it, a deranged former Marine and three cohorts, whose elaborate scheme to ransom the hedge fund manager was undone when they got too hungry for pizza.

So, in roughly the last two decades, three people whom you may have heard of had been kidnapped by lunatics and morons.

Either all of these private security firms are doing a really, really good job thwarting all of these threats against wealthy people, or perhaps the threats out there are something other than the boogie man hiding in the closet.

Paul Meloan is the co-founder and co-managing member of Aegis Wealth Management, LLC, in Bethesda, Maryland USA. Before Aegis Paul was a practicing attorney as well as working in the tax practice of Ernst & Young, LLP.

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