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Greetings, Robott, and welcome. You wrote:

<<I have read the books, been looking through the boards for the last month and am still confused.

I have been with Amr. Exp. for 15 yrs investing in a SEP to the max. I also have an IRA. I have been avg. 23% return/year. Total funds is several hundred thous.

Now that I am enlightened that I, too, can be foolish, I wish to make some changes in my investments and be more active.

I am confused as to what I can do. I have looked up the Amr. Exp site and they seem to have competitive fees for stock accounts. But not sure of the legal issue of what I can do with the SEP....I thought it needs to be under a bank, or investment co. for "management"

So the ?s are: can I move the SEP funds into direct stocks, or move it to an index fund? Do I still need to be tied to Amr. Exp. for this? Or is foolish to keep the SEP under the AMr. Exp. book keeping but move the actual $s into stocks/or index fund? The same ? for the SEP.

As for future investing, I no longer can fund a SEP so is it wise to still fund an IRA plus take the left over SEP contributions and place them in some stocks I have looking into?

If there are no major charges to transfer the IRA and SEP funds into stocks of my choosing, and if the stock account fees are comparable to the discount fee, should I keep them with IDS/AMR EXP? >>

Yes, you can move your SEP monies to another provider to enable you to invest directly in stocks and/or an index fund. Any broker or mutual fund can help you do that, and there's no need to stay with IDS/AMEX to do so. Keep in mind that once SEP monies have been deposited in the IRA designated to receive those contributions, those funds are just like any other IRA contribution. That means you can move them and invest them just as you would any other IRA money. In fact, for ease of administration you just might want to merge that money with your other IRA.

What you invest in and whether you should continue making IRA contributions is your decision. IMHO it never hurts to continue IRA funding unless there are valid tax reasons not to do so. Only you can determine that. As to whether you should continue to use IDS/AMEX, I suggest you evaluate the services and costs of doing so against the services and costs of any other IRA provider you have under consideration. Nothing says you have to switch, and nothing says you have to stay, either. Go with the provider that in your opinion gives you the most for the cost.

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