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

No. They/you need a brokerage 'vehicle' thru which to trade--that could be an online brokerage account with Scottrade, Ameritrade, etc., or a brokerage account at at mutual fund house like Vanguard or Fidelity.

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

I'm not sure why you would want to do that when trades would probably be less expensive elsewhere. But first find an 'unaffiliated' planner and see what 'plan' is suggested. After that you should have a much better idea of which direction to go in in terms of accounts.

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