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Greetings, Zazjane, and welcome. You wrote:

<<1) By the time I get a discount brokerage account open (I just discovered the Fool site in mid-Dec) and the IRA rolling, it will be Feb or so. If I buy the current F4 stocks in Feb, then sell them in Dec and buy the next F4 picks, am I correct in understanding that there's no tax ramification (because the transactions are done within a Roth IRA)?>>

No, you would sell on your anniversary date next February. The FF is based on an annual trading date regardless of which month you begin. For details, read more in the Dow area at You are correct that doing so within an IRA has no income tax ramifications.

<<2) I reinvest the dividends - right?>>

If your broker allows reinestment without charge, you can. Otherwise, the dividends just accumulate in your sweep account earning interest until your next anniversary date.

<<3)Why are commissions deducted from the $2K I'm allowed to put in the IRA? (Why am I not allowed to save the entire $2K and pay the commissions out of taxable income?) >>

Very simply because that's what the law demands. If you pay for trading costs out of pocket, then those costs get counted as part of your annual contribution. That, in turn, would cause you to overcontribute, which is a whole new set of problems.

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