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Wealth Management's Meghaan Lurtz, PhD on Managing Client Conflict

Wealth Management Lecturer Meghaan Lurtz, PhD published a comprehensive guide to navigating conflict among clients in, a top resource for financial advisors.  

Dr. Lurtz is a Senior Research Associate at the website. Her latest article, "Client Fights (Including Fights With The Financial Advisor) Are A Natural Hazard Of An Advisor’s Job… And Many Advisors Find That Good Can Come From Them!," analyzes money concepts through the lens of conflict theory. 

It is not a surprise that people often fight about money. What may be surprising, however, is that fights about money can be extremely valuable, as they say a lot about a person’s attitudes toward money and personal wealth, not to mention their propensity for conflict. 

—Meghaan Lurtz, PhD, Lecturer, Wealth Management

Dr. Lurtz applies the idea of the "four horsemen of the apocalypse" to define unproductive fighting styles—criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling—and reframes them to encourage productive arguing, or new ways to reach the desired outcomes of collaboration, compromise, and agreement.

The article provides scenarios to guide financial advisors through various conflicts, mediation strategies, de-escalation techniques, and tips to stay impartial during client negotiations. 

Read the full article on

Dr. Lurtz was also recently quoted in The Wall Street Journal article, "How to Make Money Decisions When the Future Is Uncertain." 

“We’re good at finding solutions for today, which is not always the best for finding the solution for the future. When we don’t even know what the time frame is, that really messes up our ability to decide: ‘Is this good for me now?’"  

Read the article for additional advice on weighing financial decisions and making informed decisions during the pandemic. 


Learn more about the Master's in Wealth Management program at Columbia University's School of Professional Studies.