My grandmother invested $5,000 into a single company back in the late 70’s. This holding has grown to about $135,000 as of today. She has a few money market funds with about $30,000 in each, and I advised her to place some of that money into a diversified index exchange traded fund (ETF), as well as reinvest her dividends rather than take them as cash payment (she does not need the cash flow).

She is willing to take my advice, but her broker told her that “ETFs are not something she [my grandmother] wants to get into.”

My question is, why would her broker advise her not to get into an index ETF, when he knows that her current equity portfolio is comprised 100% of one company? I feel that this warrants an urgent need for diversification.

My first thought was that her broker would prefer to put her money market capital into a mutual fund that his firm has a relationship with, wanting her to steer clear from no-load Vanguard funds because this would cut into his potential commission or kickbacks from mutual fund companies.


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