No. of Recommendations: 0

<<The AE planner basically recommended nothing but Amex financial products, even though they didn't make much common sense.>>

Big surprise. Remember that the so called "planners" working for the large houses work with pay at risk because almost all their compensation is derived from commissions. Their "plans" are basically nothing more than feeding some numbers into a canned program, printing out some template language, and presenting a scientific, computerized set of recommendations that may (but probably won't) fit the circumstances or needs of the client as best as they should. The "plans" do manage to generate much in the way of commissions from the unwary, though.

That's why I am a strong advocate of seeing a credentialed, fee-only financial planner such as a Certified Financial Planner. With no commissions at risk, they don't have a built-in bias to recommend any product -- only ones that best meet the client's needs. Plus they must meet some stringent continuing educational requirements and ethical standards.

DISCLAIMER: Pixy is a CFP, but not one in private practice. Still, he could also be biased here.

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