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Greetings, Lori-Ann, and welcome. You asked:

<<I'm NOT a font of knowledge on these matters, but isn't
that ratio avoidable? My MIL mailed the broker a copy of her taxes and told him that she can't deal with it.

She's 82-years old and doesn't need this stress. Any words of wisdom here? I don't know what to tell her.
I suggested she write to the broker and tell him how she feels, for a start.>>

Your M-I-L gave the broker the necessary authority to trade at will, and she is the only one who may withdraw that authority. IMHO she absolutely must have a long discussion with that broker in which she lays out her investment objectives quite clearly and strongly. To do that, she herself must know what she wishes to accompish in the way of balancing her income needs along with portfolio preservation. Then she needs to communicate that quite clearly and expressly to her investment advisor.

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