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Greetings surfermaid,

Question is, a fee-based advisor has to have a broker they buy & sell through, right?

I suspect most would have this though there may be some rare ones that don't where they would give you a list of funds to invest where you'd do the paperwork instead of them to invest in the funds. I'm not sure how easy or hard it would be to find such planners however.

Are there any caveats there?

There are caveats everywhere in the world, though here would be a few I'd look for: 1) What type of investment vehicles will the portfolio be invested in, i.e. is it going to be mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, individual stocks and bonds, or some other type of security? 2) Are there fees associated with such vehicles that they'll be using, e.g. if mutual funds or exchange-traded funds what are the expenses? 3) Does the advisor get a break on the comission for trades at this brokerage which may be worth noting?

We'd met with a fee-based "NAPFA" planner who indicated he'd be conducting business through a large, known brokerage firm....???

Which makes sense to me in a way. Of course a little due diligence never hurt.

Or, do we find an advisor who will use HER broker/firm where her portfolio currently is?

You could try that though I'd be tempted to wonder if the broker/firms costs on trades aren't just a little on the high side compared to others where one could try to cut some costs.

Regards,
JB

-Who may be a bit of a cynic at times
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