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Top Money Advisers 2014: Till Debts Do Them Part

It’s not too hard to sneak a new piece of jewelry by a spouse. (“This bracelet? I’ve had it awhile.”) But a horse? We asked financial advisers: Have you seen or heard of someone keeping a big purchase from a partner? The initial response: Yes. The more detailed answer: Get a load of this! Among our favorites:

“A wife bought gold coins without her husband’s knowledge—just in case anything went wrong and she needed to run quickly, she said.”

“A child that the other spouse knew nothing about.”

“Sex toys and hookers.”

“A guy signed up for a partial interest in buying a plane, which he never told his wife about. He told her he was just taking flying lessons. Finally it all came out. Needless to say, she was not very happy and they ended up getting a divorce. I think that is the moral of the story.”

“A husband was taking riding lessons at some stables and decided to purchase a horse. His wife thought he was just riding a random horse.”

“I’ve seen $80,000 club memberships that wives were unaware of. Club bills were directed to the office address.”

“A house for a paramour.”

“A husband bought a Bentley and kept it at their summer house, where the spouse never visited.”

“$100 a week in birdseed.”

“A client wanted to buy a large insurance policy on his life for the benefit of his mistress. When his wife found out, she told him to ‘drop dead.’ ”

“The spouse was making large gifts to her adult children without her husband’s knowledge.”

“I have a client with a ‘Vegas’ account. It’s a separate account earmarked for gambling and who knows what else.”

“A $400,000 loan to a family member.”

“A client of one of my partners kept a box of cash in a closet that over time was mostly eaten by mice.”

“A $400,000 credit-card charge to a major department store for furniture and jewelry.”

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