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I want to open an IRA account, but would it be more beneficial to go through the actual mutual fund company (custodian) better than a discount broker? Im not quite sure what the difference between the two are except for fees. What type of things would you have to look into to make your decisions on which route to go? any help would be appreciated.

My personal preference is to have mutual funds directly with the mutual fund company. A reason to possibly consider using a broker for this is if you anticipate that at some future time you may wish to invest this IRA in individual stocks.
Generally all of the fees, restrictions, etc. imposed by the fund will also apply to its purchase through a broker. In addition, the broker may impose an additional transaction fee. Certainly you should check this out before going through a broker. Also check other fees that might be imposed in the future such as transfers, closing fees, annual maintence fees, etc.
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