No. of Recommendations: 0
Fees, ...Fees, ... Fees

It doesn't matter what the investments are-Mutual Funds, Index Funds, ETFs, Stocks, CDs, Bonds, or some combination of two or more of that list, you do need to really understand fees. This is especially true during the initial IRA accumulation stage (< $10000). I think if you can keep total fees under 2.5% during this stage you build a great foundation for your future.

The Sharebuilder IRA fee structure seems targeted for a long-term DCA (Dollar-Cost Averaging) customer i.e. a customer who makes periodic infusions into their investment(s), but fewer or no sale transactions (The real-time transaction fee of $12.95 - $15.95 likely to dissuade a customer from selling too quickly). Because of the "back-end load" set-up, it seems your best alternative among existing options with Sharebuilder is the basic set-up, even with the $25 maintenance fee.

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