I used to work for one these financial companies and yes many of them are based on commissions. And so are many other people that work in sales (including real estate, bankers etc.) That’s fact of life.
As every other industry, you have the unscrupulous people that you might fall across, but you have the decent ones as well. One just has to make an intelligent choice and keep on looking for the right match.
I did also thought that the products were expensive, then I realized that it’s the WHOLE banking & financial industry that try to make more and more money out of the people. … and my bank or my mum’s government retirement plan is not an exception.
My 3 cents is that: with or without financial adviser people HAVE to read the conditions, the fees, the terms in order to make intelligent decisions not when it comes to their finances, but to everything.