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Subject:  Re: Setting Up My Roth Date:  3/22/2003  8:49 PM
Author:  bigcaat Number:  35951 of 88775

My gut is telling me I'd be better off with an index fund like VFINX... which has a lower expense and instead of trying to beat the S&P 500, it *is* the S&P 500.

Greetings h. Welcome to the Fool.

First of all, congrats on having an emergency fund and planning for your finances at your age. You should be very proud of yourself.

That said -- Trust your gut.

May I suggest that you look into opening a Roth at Scottrade. ( They have no account maintenance fees, no low-balance fees, and you can buy into Vanguard funds (yes, VFINX is an EXCELLENT choice) with no transaction fees. (The only caviat is that you must keep your money in the fund for 90 days or you will pay a $17.50 fee.)

The website is fairly user-friendly, and YOU are the one in control of your Roth, not a brokerage firm.

My personal opinion is to stay away from loaded funds with high expense ratios. I can't find WM Strategic Growth Portfolio on Morningstar, but if it's a B share, there's a load. What that means is that the brokerage you work for will be making money off of you investing in it.

I understand that you are getting your advice for free, but please realize that all commissioned brokers give advice for free. The way they make money is by selling you loaded funds (A shares = front load, B shares = back-end load, etc.) even if you aren't paying an account maintainence fee.

Please be cautious. I'm very glad you found your way to the Fool. My best advise, fwiw, like I say is to look into Scottrade and beware of any advise that a commissioned broker gives you. Chances are they are trying to make money off of you somewhere. They are, after all, salespeople.

Hope this helps.
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