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Hey thanks guys, but a few q's:

…Or would it be dumb to self-direct an IRA with only ETFs? That's kind of my plan, though I m a small fry investor….

Once you get up to a certain size portfolio ETF’s can be a good choice, the problem is that until you get up to maybe $50K the trading costs will eat into your performance because it will be easy to exceed 0.5% of your portfolio each year.

In an IRA you don’t get the tax benefits of the ETF’s so I would stick with mutual funds until you get up to $50K or so.


Greg, by trading costs do you mean commissions, just curious.
And, for anyone, how does the math on the expense-ratio work, exactly. Sorry this is probably a dumb q. but I m not that numerate.
If you do have a tiny number of ETFs in taxable account and the e-r is .40%, does that mean to figure you would multiply the earnings alone by .4?

And for Guby, just curious, in your hypothetical three fund portfolio, what might the math look like if you did want a 60-20-20 split?
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