While researching another piece, I stumbled across a Motley Fool 2012 in-depth article about one of my least favorite financial firms, Edward Jones. I believe that, because of its incredible reach, no brokerage firm has done more damage to more people than Ed Jones through the sale of expensive loaded mutual funds and annuity products. While I am certain that many wonderful individuals work for Ed Jones, I would guess that many have no clue how relatively expensive their products are or how long-term investing really works.
As a recovered stock broker with the 1980s version of "financial advisor for Main Street," Dean Witter, part of the Sears Financial Network, I know. They are trained to sell, not advise. Even though it's a couple of years old, this piece is valuable reading for anyone considering investing with any bank, broker, or insurance agent.