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My son works for a new company with approx. 10 - 15 employees. This spring, a full service broker gave a presentation for each to open IRA's through his brokerage. None of the employees were/are knowledgeable in investments or IRAs so they just followed his suggestions. Our son is starting to get a little concerned with this "wise" choice. He has asked for my help (I also am learning) and I'm turning to the "foolish" for direction. Here are my questions:

Our son has $500/month deducted from his check and put into this account making the total already past the $2000/yearly IRA contribution. Is this "foolish" and is there a penalty for over contributing per year?

The money is invested in mutal funds with 4.00% deferred sales charges and 1.41% operating expenses. With a captial gains distribution, his funds have increased $60, but $40 was deducted for custodial fees leaving a balance of $20 for the investment time.

This is called a Simple IRA. Is that the same as a regular IRA?

Is it possible to switch from this brokerage and these mutal funds to a discount brokerage and use a portfolio such as the Foolish Four? What are the ramifications, if any? In the process, could he switch to a Roth IRA and how complicated would that be?

One last question. What does the U/P/O in front of the employers name mean and does it effect the IRA?

Our son qualifies for either IRA, but the ROTH looks best to us. He is single and wants to "sock it away".

Thanks everyone!!!

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