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In my early 20's I had a friend that was a full service broker and he managed my IRA and Roth IRA. After a few years I decided that I could do what he was doing, so I read a book and "barely" understood the basics. I transferred about $75k to Fidelity and started doing my own thing. I would do a bit of research on an industry that I knew and then invest a bit of money here and there. I'm self-employed so I have a single-man IRA and put a good chunck of money in there.

A few years go by (now 40) and I realize that I have now money in several accounts and in fact didn't realize that I had accumulated around $250k. My partner has about $75k at Fidelity as well. I truly had no idea and it made me wonder "Should I be in charge of managing my money". So, my sister-in-law recommended their broker at Edward Jones.

I've met with the broker several times and he explained that I needed to diversify my money into more mutual funds. Keep a few stocks, but the bulk of it will be mutual funds (Franklin Templeton, I think) I've since moved my money to Edward Jones, but have yet to change any of the stocks that I currently own.

I did set up a 529 plan for our son and was taken back at the fees charged each month to add money. We're starting out with just $150 a month, but I think there is a %5.75 fee every month. Seems like alot, but then again, I don't really know.

Now, I've got cold feet - I really hate paying fees, but on the other hand, I don't have a lot of time to learn and manage my own money. I haven't done too bad in what I've bought over the years and just worried that doing everything through a full-service broker will cost me more money than I will make.

I'm not sure what to do...and would love any "been there done that" experiences.
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Edward Jones representatives will recommend mutual funds from families that pay them. To them, Vanguard is a dirty word.

Fidelity charges you around $10 when you buy or sell a stock. Edward Jones will charge around $200 if you are buying $10000 worth of a stock. The broker can give you a discount, but you won't get much below $100 for a buy or sell unless it is a few shares at a time.

They don't charge a lot of account fees. They are pretty good about that.

Ask to see their focus list. Do you get a monthly little newsletter? Ask for it. They do select good, bread-and-butter types of stocks. I have an account with them, have often considered closing it because it is so much cheaper to deal with e-Trade--but when the year is over, the Edward Jones account has done very well. So I keep it. And the broker, of course, is a nice fellow I basically like.

The focus list will recommend what proportion of investments in which sector. The stocks recommended are salt-of-the-earth sorts like Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft--that sort of thing. They won't churn the accunt.

There is no law that says you have to have all your money with the same firm. I have my account with Edward Jones, but also Vanguard and Fidelity and some others. I do each year close the worst-performing one and either send the money to the best-performing or sometimes use it to open a new account somewhere else. Results have been good.

Best wishes, Chris
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If you went from $75K to $250K why did you change? It appears that what you were doing was working.

You can buy the same funds that the broker recommends from the online brokers as well, to include some no-load versions.

If I were you I would reevaluate why you changed in the first place and decide where you want to go moving forward.

Don't let the commission be the reason you did nothing and missed out on the upside.
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