Some people do better with some hand holding. Mary may be encouraging saving. Yes, at the Fool you can get equally good advice, maybe better. Mary recommended funds from the family she is paid to recommend. You don't go to a Saturn dealer and expect to be shown a Toyota. If the OP is ready to be her own advisor, that's fine, she has no more need for Mary, and can go either pick her own stocks or buy funds from Vanguard. I have an account with Edward Jones. It contains stocks from their "model portfolio". My account is up over 19% so far this year and is consistently up year after year. I wince every time I but a stock and see the commission, but the returns have been good. My larger account is with e*trade, who bought Brown. For those stocks, I do my own research and enjoy very much lower commissions. I do not use my full service brokers' time and then go buy their recommendation on the cheap--that is not fair. The advisor makes a buck. If she is performing a service, that is fair. Best wishes, Chris
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