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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75636  
Subject: Re: Starting a Roth IRA Question Date: 2/21/2000 12:32 PM
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I think your brother should check out the MFS funds on Morningstar.com available from the financial pages of Excite.com. He may very well find that mostly they have load funds. He will also want to check out expense ratios and 12b fees. Fools prefer no loads and low expense ratio/low fee funds.

Since Roth IRA custodian is completely his free choice, I would strongly recommend that your brother decide which fund (or funds) he wants to invest in before he selects a custodian. Look also at custodian maintenance fees, transaction fees, etc before you decide.

Fools would suggest your brother invest 100% in stocks (assuming he is not within 5 yrs of retirement). An S&P 500 Index fund would be a good initial choice. Once the balance grows a bit some diversification may be in order. Some would suggest a small cap fund and an international fund for about 15% each of investment. Some would suggest a technology sector fund for up to 30% of investments.

If an S&P Index fund, the preferred custodian would be Vanguard, whose Index 500 is a very low expense ratio fund. A second choice custodian could be Fidelity, who offers a huge array of funds including an S&P Index fund and FSPTX, a first rate technology sector fund. But many other mutual fund companies can do just as well. TRowe Price and Scudder are some other names famous for their no load funds.

He should also consider a discount broker for his Roth account. They permit investing in stocks as well as many (though not all) mutual funds. Broker is needed for stocks, but usually has higher fees and therefore is more cost effective for somewhat larger accounts.

Best of luck to you.
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