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I think you can do a foolish four with $2,000. Put $500 into each stock, and sell. If you're with, say Waterhouse, where the round trip will cost you $24, that will cost you $96 in commissions. So let's say you make 15 percent, or $300. Think you can live with a nice fat after commission take of $204?

Before transaction costs, an index fund at 11% will earn you $220. I don't use Waterhouse so I can't comment on the transaction cost of a mutual fund. But it appears to me that you took on more risk to earn about the same amount of money. I would wait until there is $4000 in the IRA before considering the Foolish Four so to reduce transaction costs.

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