Look, everyone has an agenda. Your doctor, lawyer, mechanic, accountant, banker, even your babysitter, landscaper, grocer, manicurist, personal trainer, masseuse, etc., etc. all stand to make more money the more goods and services you buy from them, whether you really need it or not. You, as the consumer, are the ultimate judge as to whether you really need/want these things and whom you feel can deliver the goods.
To ask, "Has the provider shown me EVERY option under the sun?", is perhaps beyond reason and focuses more on the process than the goal. The ultimate measure of a transaction is more like, "Am I better off than I was before I purchased?" Good advisors can say with complete confidence that they have indeed improved their clients' situations by putting them in quality products that meet their needs. They can further say that they have helped even those with whom they merely met with yet did not end up making a sale to--let's not forget the flip side of a commissioned advisor's activity whereby they give away their advice for free every day, and maybe they will ultimately get paid for it and maybe they won't.
Rsinj, advisors DO have a monopoly on some products. I am speaking, of course, of those financial products that will only sell through brokers. And some of them ARE that good to justify the added expense of a broker's commission (not to name names, but freedom of choice is the American way).
[This message has been edited by Dopps (edited June 17, 2004).]