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I posted this on another message board previously, before I found this board which I think will be more relevant.

To all who espouse foolish wisdom:

My mother recently received a collection of stocks, funds, bonds, etc. from a passing relative, which was sad, but left my mom with a small nest egg that she and my father were never able to save themselves. Mom put everything in a safety deposit box, and there it sat for the last two years.

Recently, being completely unknowledgeable in trading, stocks, etc., she contacted a local broker (full service - the ones who make their money the old fashioned way). He set up an appointment with her, told her he would take her to the bank where she could get the certificates out of the safety deposit box and turn them over to him, so he could invest them for her. She didn't like the idea of turning over her certificates so she cancelled the appointment and called me to find out if that was normal. I said yes, but don't let him have them until I can review this with her.

Whew - dodged a bullet there. She's coming to see me next weekend (Father's Day) and is bringing all the info with her. She's looking for some advice, and now so am I.

Information - Mom is 60, Dad is 65. He still works, plus has a small military pension. They make enough so that they can live within their means - although they don't always do so.

From what my mom told me over the phone, roughly 2/3 is in stocks and the rest in mutual funds mostly of the bond or t-bill variety, and a few utilites. The stocks are split between Exxon and Wells Fargo. They've been using the dividends as supplemental income. The mutual funds have provided very low returns (3-6%).

My first inclination was to tell her to keep the Exxon and Wells Fargo, dump everything else and put the money in an S&P 500 fund, or maybe even the Foolish RP4. However they're looking at their twilight years with this as their main savings, and I don't want to lead them down the wrong path

So what does everyone say? Am I far off? Has anyone else had a similar experience? Give me that foolish stuff.

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