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Subject:  Re: New to Fool - lots of questions Date:  2/3/2004  11:28 AM
Author:  dsemmler Number:  38913 of 88758


First and foremost, welcome to the Fool. It is good to see that you are aware of your situation and educating yourself to better plan for your future.

With regard to your IRAs, you can certainly transfer them to another brokerage or directly to a fund family such as Vanguard or Fidelity. It does not matter that your Traditional IRA has only been open for a few months. The easiest way to do this would be to decide where you want to consolidate your accounts. Popular choices here at the Fool seem to be Scottrade for a brokerage or one of the following fund families, Vanguard, Fidelity or TIAA-CREF.

Depending on which brokerage/fund you choose to go with, the first thing to do would be to contact that company and talk to a customer service representative. They will be able to assist you with the process of completing the transfer of your IRA accounts. It may require you to contact the existing account holders to receive forms and/or authorize the transfer. Keep in mind that you can either transfer the account while keeping the same investments you already have or you can liquidate/sell your current positions and transfer in cash. If you want to keep your investments, you will need to verify that the new account is capable of purchasing those funds. Otherwise I don't believe you can transfer those securities/funds to the new account. Again, the CSR should be able to assist you with that issue.

Now, you have a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. If you prefer to only have one IRA, you will need to convert the Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. That process will result in you paying taxes on the amount being converted to the Roth. If you prefer, you can maintain both accounts as they are. You will need to decide if you want to pay the taxes to convert now or leave the Traditional IRA as it is.

Personally, I opted to invest directly with Vanguard. I have been extremely pleased with them thus far. Others here have had some negative experiences so be sure to do your own research.

Hopefully that will give you some things to think about and consider as you move forward. If you have more questions, let us know as this board is full of very knowledgeable people and I am sure you will learn quite a bit, I know I have.

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