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I believe you are asking if the $2000 for each year must be invested separately, either into separate IRA's or separate accounts.

The answer to that is no. You can invest the entire $4000 any way you like, assuming the total you are starting with is new cash which has not been transferred, rolled over or converted from another account. You must earmark each $2000. separately as you invest it though, so it is clear that there is $2000. being invested for 1998 and $2000. for 1999. You can put the entire amount into any single or multiple investments at the same time.
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