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Thank you all for responding and educating me a bit more on this. To add to this discussion, I am helping a relative set up their financials. She suffered an accident a while ago and received a settlement that she needs to put in secure investments. I don't know that I have the time to do the direct investments for her but I definitely want to get her set up. I do not believe that she needs to grow this money agressively, she simply needs to do a little better than inflation and protect it from bad investments and scoundrels. She's met with two companies on her own and one of them was Valic. They simply plopped down their investment strategy which was the government backed mortages and said sign here. No discussion on her needs or objectives so I have several strikes against them right now.

The other company she met with was Ameriprise Financial Services and I liked what they gave her so far, but it looks somewhat expensive. I will do some more research on what you gave me, especially the fee only advisors.

I appreciate all your advise.
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