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Subject:  Re: Retirement planning Date:  4/8/2013  12:32 PM
Author:  ShiningDawn Number:  71801 of 88540

Last, but not least, through my brokerage account, I have also bought Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX) and Vanguard Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund Investor Shares (VTSMX). While I've been regularly adding money to Contrafund every month with no issues, I discovered today that VTSMX has a $75 fee every time I buy shares! Naive, you'll argue, but as I said, this is all new to me as a foreigner.

Who is your broker? VTSMX does not have a purchase fee when purchased directly from Vanguard ( . My best guess is your broker charges a fee when not buying their preferred funds. If you plan on staying with this broker you should probably look at similar total stock market index funds with no purchase fee (and low expenses).

I follow a pretty simple asset allocation of index funds - similar to one of the allocations listed here:

My IRAs (Roth & Rollover) are with Vanguard so I purchase Vanguard index funds (Total Stock market, Total Bond market, Total International Stock market, etc.) for those accounts. My 401k is with Fidelity and I have limited options there so most of my contributions go to Fidelity Spartan 500.

I am somewhat limited in what I am allowed to invest in (due to my job) so I stick to low fee, broad index funds. Nothing "sexy" in terms of investing, but I won't be making anyone rich off of fees & expenses either.

I suggest you take a close look at all of the information available to you (prospectuses, etc.) and make sure you understand all fees and loads before deciding what to do. Some funds have redemption fees if you sell too soon after you purchase. You can look up funds online to get their prospectus if your broker does not provide access to them directly.

I'm sure others will weigh in soon.

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