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"When my dad died, I took over my 90 year old mother's finances. They had had a broker at PaineWebber who had helped himself first, buying front-load high management fee funds inappropriate to their needs."

Why does everyone seem surprised by this. If you let a full service broker or a bank manage your finances, you should expect they're going to sell you something they can make a profit on. They are not charities so why would you expect to get their services for free? Also, how much did your dad know about managing money? If the answer is very little, he might have lost more than the fees he paid while he was learning by trial and error.

I'm not in the money management business except for my own accounts. And I buy only no load or low load mutual funds and trade stocks in an online, low commission, account. But there are many people who don't want to learn to do it themselves and need the hand-holding of a professional. Unless they are dealing with a total crook, they probably are getting the service they pay for in higher fees.

Remember, the financial awareness of people on these boards is much higher than that of the average person.

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