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Hello and thanks for your reply and advice.

You are correct: I am an immigrant, but I am also a US citizen and my plan is to stay here.

Regarding your first question, I have two objectives: I want to save for retirement and build an investment portfolio that generates money for me in the short and long run.

Regarding retirement savings, your recommendation is to convert my IRA to a Roth IRA and also use my employer’s 401k. I thought that if I chose my employer’s 401k it would be more beneficial to move the $3K I have in the simple IRA to that new 401k account. This is because my plan was to save for retirement only through my employer’s plan, if at all… However, your suggestion to use both my employers 401k to take advantage of the “free money” and also fund a Roth IRA to the maximum allowed sound like a much better option, especially since income from a Roth IRA is not taxable. Thanks for the eye-opener!

Regarding the investment portfolio, if I invest on an index fund, would now be a good to time to buy in? By looking at the 10 year and 5 year charts, it seems the indexes are peaking right now... Furthermore, if I start buying shares, would it be better to start by buying a few shares of different companies (diversified), or a lot of shares of one or two companies?

Regarding emergency funds, if I spend about $2k a month, what percentage of my $35k in savings should I move to my brokerage account? Or should I just leave that in savings and from now on start adding a certain fraction of my $2k monthly excess to my brokerage account?

Also, when you say that I should use a discount broker, you mean a broker like Scottrade or eTrade? If not, can you recommend a couple?

Thanks again for your reply and your recommendations.
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