Caveat Investor At These Seminars

When Bell Atlantic offered Bud Aro an early retirement deal, the Timonium (Md.) engineer decided he should brush up on his financial-planning knowhow. So he enrolled at nearby Towson University in a seminar on managing personal finances. The instructor, a local planner, impressed him enough that Aro signed up for the optional consultation offered as the course's final session. Now, three years later, Aro thinks that was a mistake. "What I didn't know at the time was that this guy only deals with [load] mutual funds, and some of them are expensive," he says. "I could've done better with no-load funds, but he doesn't talk about them."

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