The Financial Food Chain

Recently I received a brochure in the mail from Fidelity Investments, the giant financial company, inviting me to sign up for something called "Portfolio Advisory Services." For an annual fee of 1%, "a dedicated account executive" will invest my money for me, spreading it among Fidelity's dozens of "equity, bond and short-term mutual funds." My "portfolio" will be "personally tailored," of course, but basically the program promises what we all want: "preservation of assets as well as ... growth and income." This is known as a "wraparound account." It is one of the newer products invented by the financial-services industry, whose...

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