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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76384  
Subject: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 6:50 AM
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So...Bank of America has taken out a major series of ads at the top of the Fool pages. And, naturally, they make it painfully obvious that they don't know what IRA stands for.

IRA = Individual Retirement Arrangement

It does not stand for Individual Retirement Account. It is amazing how many sources get this wrong. I guess it is not shocking that Wikipedia has it wrong. The sad thing is that if someone were to correct it, someone else would come along and "fix" it by putting it back to Account... (To test this, I made the change at 6:53am ET on 11/18.)

It does not bother me so much when the average person has it wrong. It bothers me a little that Wikipedia has it wrong. But it is a truly sad statement when a major banking/investing company cannot get it right...all the more reason to avoid banks for your investing.

Acme
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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60187 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 8:24 AM
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So...Bank of America has taken out a major series of ads at the top of the Fool pages. And, naturally, they make it painfully obvious that they don't know what IRA stands for.

IRA = Individual Retirement Arrangement


Sez who?

Certainly not Congress, which titled section 408 of the Code "Individual retirement accounts." Perhaps you got your impression from Publication 590, which is titled Individual Retirement Arrangements.

They don't come much more pedantic than me. (Grammarians feel free to change that to "than I." I don't feel like looking it up, having dedicated those particular brain cells to the pursuit of the ultimate martini.) BUT I find it convenient to think in terms of both accounts and arrangements, depending on the context.

For example, when you're looking at what's going on inside a single account it makes sense to consider "IRA" as an account. OTOH, when you're looking at distributions when there have been after-tax contributions to a traditional IRA, it makes sense to consider it an arrangement, since you must consider all accounts even if you're withdrawing from only one.

I reserve my outrage for custodians who won't allow SEP contributions into something that isn't labeled "SEP IRA," a restriction not found in the law, and people who call revenue officers revenue agents.

Phil

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60188 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 8:55 AM
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Sez who?

I don't normally bother with this type of thing, but I think it is important here. I deal with enough bad English in my high school. The last thing we really need in this country is people that are well educated taking things down to a low level. It does not help anyone, but it certainly hurts many.

As for who says...I would say the IRS says so. Looking through the materials, every reference I can find refers to it as an Arrangement not an Account. The Congress writes the tax code, but the IRS determines how it is interpreted. Since they have chosen to only refer to an IRA as an Individual Retirement Arrangement, that is good enough for me. After all, it is not The Congress you report to when you screw up your contributions; it is the IRS.

Acme

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Author: ziggy29 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60189 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 9:07 AM
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>> As for who says...I would say the IRS says so. Looking through the materials, every reference I can find refers to it as an Arrangement not an Account. <<

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p590/ch01.html#d0e1289

An individual retirement account is a trust or custodial account set up in the United States for the exclusive benefit of you or your beneficiaries. The account is created by a written document. The document must show that the account meets all of the following requirements.

--

Looking through Publication 590, it appears that an Individual Retirement Account *is* in the IRS documentation and is a particular type of investment vehicle authorized in an Individual Retirement Arrangement. As a result, either is correct, and I would still submit that if we are talking about a *specific* account such as with a bank, brokerage or mutual fund family, "account" is probably more accurate.

#29

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60190 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 9:26 AM
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Looking through Publication 590, it appears that an Individual Retirement Account *is* in the IRS documentation and is a particular type of investment vehicle authorized in an Individual Retirement Arrangement.

That does seem to be the way they are referring to it now. I'm not sure when that change was made, but I do not believe it was in there previously. I had read through the whole thing and only found reference to Individual Retirement Arrangement...

Acme
(Open to being proven wrong any time.)

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60191 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 10:05 AM
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(Open to being proven wrong any time.)

Does this mean we can go back to using Bank of America?

IF

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60193 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 10:29 AM
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Does this mean we can go back to using Bank of America?

Please show me where I said you could not. I would heavily advise against putting your investment money with a bank, but that is a far cry from saying you cannot do it.

Acme

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60195 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 10:45 AM
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Please show me where I said you could not.

You strongly advised against using them for a mistake that they didn't make. Now that you acknowledge it, I was just wondering it you were going to withdraw your objection.

I would heavily advise against putting your investment money with a bank, but that is a far cry from saying you cannot do it.

You do know that some banks have brokerage services and some brokers have banking services. The lines between the two are blurring. I think you may be advising against putting your retirement investments in bank products like CDs but that is different than using a bank for brokerage services.

IF

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Author: mrparrotfez Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60196 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 11:10 AM
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Was the ad in English? If so, that by itself is a step forward. My local B of A is pandering so heavily to Spanish-speaking clientele that I've taken to calling them 'Banco de America.'

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Author: dinkysue Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60197 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 11:14 AM
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You do know that some banks have brokerage services and some brokers have banking services. The lines between the two are blurring. I think you may be advising against putting your retirement investments in bank products like CDs but that is different than using a bank for brokerage services.

IF


Hey IF,

I can't resist getting into this discussion since over the years I have developed an unhealthy dislike for banks. Maybe it has to do with the many subtle ways they try to find to nickel and dime me to death. I know that I should be in Bank Haters Anonymous but I can't help it. The lines may be blurring but if it says bank anywhere on the building, no way I will be using their brokerage services. A bank trust department that I dealt with had the bankers mentality (screw the client early and often) until I found a way for the beneficiaries to yank the rug out from under them and move a 3 mil account to somebody who cared (not a bank). Doing that gave me a warm feeling and the beneficiaries thank me every time i talk to them. Sorry for the rant. I've got to call BHA soon.

Dinkysue

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60198 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 11:24 AM
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You strongly advised against using them for a mistake that they didn't make. Now that you acknowledge it, I was just wondering it you were going to withdraw your objection.

If you will take the time to actually re-read what I wrote, I said it was all the more reason not to invest through a bank. I did not say it was *the* reason.

I'm not even close to withdrawing my objection.



You do know that some banks have brokerage services and some brokers have banking services. The lines between the two are blurring. I think you may be advising against putting your retirement investments in bank products like CDs but that is different than using a bank for brokerage services.

Yes, I know this. And you are wrong about what you think I am advising.

I advise completely against having your brokerage/investing services with a company whose primary focus is banking. I also advise against having your banking services with the same company where you do your investing.

Acme

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60199 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 11:25 AM
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Sorry for the rant. I've got to call BHA soon.

There's nothing wrong with hating a certain group of businesses. I have a few of my own that I don't like. I don't belong to the BHA but generally I do avoid banks. I have only a mortgage and credit cards through banks.

Some posters on the Discount Brokers board are fans of the brokerage service from Wells Fargo. With a certain amount of assets, you get a good number of free trades per year. You'll have to refer to their website for the exact numbers.

IF

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60200 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 11:34 AM
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I advise completely against having your brokerage/investing services with a company whose primary focus is banking. I also advise against having your banking services with the same company where you do your investing.

You may be advising it but you are not spelling it out. We are not mind readers. Maybe you have gone into great detail on another board. I'm not bothering to track it down.

Are you advising not use the banking and brokerage services of the same company because it is putting all your eggs into one basket? Has this anything to do with Etrade's problems with their banking side of their business this past week?

I'm unsure of your objection. Bank accounts are usually covered by FDIC and brokerage accounts by SIPC. If a bank happens to offer both quality banking services and brokerage services, why should a person avoid using both?

So what is *the* reason?

IF

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60201 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 11:49 AM
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So what is *the* reason?

Why does it matter? You misread what I wrote. IMO, my initial post was clear; you simply failed to read it correctly.

If you wanted to know *why* I said what I did, you should have just asked instead of acting like I told people they cannot use BoA for anything.



Are you advising not use the banking and brokerage services of the same company because it is putting all your eggs into one basket?

A little story. A friend of mine had money with both the banking and investing sides of a major bank. They had a problem where the bank screwed up on the banking side of things. To correct their mistake, they took money from the investing side of things. This created additional problems for my friend, but it "fixed" the problem from the bank's point of view.

If the accounts were completely independent, the bank would have been forced to correct their mistake the proper way rather than do something that looked good to them. When I looked at the agreement for having both sets of services, this type of action was allowed. Unless this has changed (and I doubt it has), I would say it is opening yourself up to problems to have this type of arrangement.

Even if this type of thing has been removed from the agreements, I would still suggest separating your banking and investing services. This is not about protecting yourself from the bank/brokerage failing. This is about keeping the different parts of your life properly separated.

Acme

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Author: DrTarr Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60202 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 1:44 PM
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I LOVE banks -


though; some times I hate the banker!!!!

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60205 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 11:06 PM
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Why does it matter? You misread what I wrote. IMO, my initial post was clear; you simply failed to read it correctly.

I didn't misread what you wrote. It was pretty straightforward. You nitpicked a Bank of America ad that most people probably ignore. Because you believed BoA got the definition of IRA wrong, you though it was more reason to avoid banks for investing.

If you wanted to know *why* I said what I did, you should have just asked instead of acting like I told people they cannot use BoA for anything.

I didn't say any such thing. Just as you accuse me of misreading my post, you did the same thing. You can interpret my post as the following

Does this mean we can go back to using Bank of America { or is there another reason to avoid them}?

See how easy it is to misinterpret. Of course I admit you can't be a mind reader. Maybe you should have asked what I meant instead of posting that I was saying you told people they cannot use BoA. You can take your own advice.

Did you know Vanguard uses the words "individual retirement account" on their website? Will you be pulling your assets for this small mistake?

IF

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Author: DrTarr Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60206 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/18/2007 11:21 PM
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http://www.fool.com/money/allaboutiras/allaboutiras.htm?

Acme, I hope this means that you won't stop using the Fool.

d(IRA)/dT

sorry man - had to!!

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60207 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/19/2007 6:26 AM
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Acme, I hope this means that you won't stop using the Fool.

Heh. Another one to avoid!

Acme

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60208 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/19/2007 6:27 AM
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I will be the bigger person and let your snide comments go...

Acme

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60209 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/19/2007 8:30 AM
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I will be the bigger person and let your snide comments go...

Do you recognize the irony in your post? Declaring yourself a bigger person is a snide comment in itself.

You laughed at the question of leaving the Fool by DrTarr. You said my question about leaving Vanguard snide. I'm unsure why there is unequal treatment here.

All I asked on more than one occasion is for a reason to avoid banks for brokerage services. Instead of answering that question, you turned this thread into some personal. We've never had problems in the past so I'm not sure how this came about. All I wanted was a simple question answered. I thought maybe the answer could help me and others on this board.

You did a good job of answering why someone should not keep both their bank accounts and investment accounts at the same bank. What you didn't answer is why someone should avoid them completely. If I keep my bank accounts at my local credit union, why shouldn't I use a big bank brokerage like Wells Fargo if it will save me on my commission costs?

IF

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60214 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/19/2007 6:14 PM
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You laughed at the question of leaving the Fool by DrTarr. You said my question about leaving Vanguard snide. I'm unsure why there is unequal treatment here.

His was clearly a joke (note the "sorry man - had to!!" comment). Yours was clearly not a joke and I thought your intent was to continue to point out my earlier error.

While I am open to being proven wrong about something, that does not mean I am ok with people piling on.



All I asked on more than one occasion is for a reason to avoid banks for brokerage services.

And I told you the basics of what happened to a friend of mine.



Instead of answering that question, you turned this thread into some personal.

IMO, you are the one that made this personal. Throughout the thread, I have wondered if you had something against me I was unaware of. As you said, we have never had a problem in the past.



We've never had problems in the past so I'm not sure how this came about. All I wanted was a simple question answered. I thought maybe the answer could help me and others on this board.

This is not at all how your question seemed to me. The first one seemed snide and I believed you were just piling on. Then you kept at it, but I did not see that you were actually searching for information. It seemed to me that you were continuing to try and prove my error meant my entire position was bogus.



You did a good job of answering why someone should not keep both their bank accounts and investment accounts at the same bank. What you didn't answer is why someone should avoid them completely. If I keep my bank accounts at my local credit union, why shouldn't I use a big bank brokerage like Wells Fargo if it will save me on my commission costs?

Typically, you will not save on commission costs with big banks. There are exceptions, but as a general rule, you will get better investment costs through investment companies...well, through the good low-cost ones anyway.

Most of my objection stems from area of expertise. Banks may be getting better over time (they need the investment assets to continue growing their portfolios), but they often just don't do a great job with investments. Whether it is poor order execution, poor customer service (a common theme among big banks), or just indifference (my biggest complaint with BoA) they tend to be significantly inferior for investments than companies that are more dedicated/integrated for investments.

Over time this is changing. For whatever reason, I have never really thought of Wells Fargo as a "big bank." Maybe this is because the first time I ever had any interaction with them was with an investment banker at the company. Even still, I believe it is best to stick with the company whose primary focus is investing.

Acme

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60218 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/20/2007 12:19 AM
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This is not at all how your question seemed to me. The first one seemed snide and I believed you were just piling on. Then you kept at it, but I did not see that you were actually searching for information. It seemed to me that you were continuing to try and prove my error meant my entire position was bogus.

I wasn't trying to pile on. I thought your original reason to avoid BoA was weak because a number of brokers use the term "individual retirement account". If we are to avoid BoA for that mistake, then we should be prepared to avoid the rest. I thought there must be a bigger reason to avoid them but you seemed reluctant to give it.

Most of my objection stems from area of expertise. Banks may be getting better over time (they need the investment assets to continue growing their portfolios), but they often just don't do a great job with investments. Whether it is poor order execution, poor customer service (a common theme among big banks), or just indifference (my biggest complaint with BoA) they tend to be significantly inferior for investments than companies that are more dedicated/integrated for investments.

As a frequent reader of the Discount Broker board, banks don't have a monopoly on poor service. There are a number of people with complaints about discount brokers. I do suspect that some of the problems are self-inflicted.

Over time this is changing. For whatever reason, I have never really thought of Wells Fargo as a "big bank." Maybe this is because the first time I ever had any interaction with them was with an investment banker at the company. Even still, I believe it is best to stick with the company whose primary focus is investing.

I'm not a user of Wells Fargo but I've read a number of posts of satisfied customers. Apparently their online brokerage is not much different than discount brokers. You can trade stocks, mutual fund, ETFs and other products. You are not committed to the banks mutual funds and/or CDs. I recall posts that said there were 30 free trades per month but a brief preview appears the offer is 100 free trades annually if you maintain a certain amount of assets with them. As long as order execution is good and statements are accurate, I don't see why it should be avoided just because it is a bank.

I'm sorry for any problems that I caused you. I think much of it was just miscommunication and talking past each other.

IF

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60224 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/20/2007 5:34 PM
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I'm sorry for any problems that I caused you. I think much of it was just miscommunication and talking past each other.

Your apology was completely unnecessary, but I too apologize. I think you are dead on -- we were talking past each other because we were on completely different pages regarding where the conversation was headed.

This is the biggest weakness of the BB medium. You miss the intent much more easily. I strongly suspect if we were face-to-face this never would have happened.

Happy Thanksgiving! (Now that I am a teacher, I get to think that way a day earlier!)

Acme

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Author: maracle Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60270 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/30/2007 12:40 PM
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It does not stand for Individual Retirement Account. It is amazing how many sources get this wrong. I guess it is not shocking that Wikipedia has it wrong. The sad thing is that if someone were to correct it, someone else would come along and "fix" it by putting it back to Account... (To test this, I made the change at 6:53am ET on 11/18.)

Not to get involved in your pissing match with IF, but I thought I'd threadjack and talk about wikipedia. I was curious to see just how fast they would fix your change. It took 4 hours and 23 minutes for someone to correct it, and not only did they revert the change but they responded by adding a discussion to the talk page, and reorganized the article to start with legal basis and definitions sections that clarify all these various terms.

Wikipedia has some flaws to be sure, but overall the editing process works pretty well.

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60278 of 76384
Subject: Re: Bank of America Ads - Tisk, Tisk Date: 11/30/2007 6:02 PM
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It took 4 hours and 23 minutes for someone to correct it, and not only did they revert the change but they responded by adding a discussion to the talk page, and reorganized the article to start with legal basis and definitions sections that clarify all these various terms.

Thanks for pointing this out. I forgot to ever look back. I love how they modified the article as a result...

Acme

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