If you use Scottrade, you will incur a $17 charge every time you buy and a $17 charge every time you sell.If you are investing for the long term, a buy and hold strategy is not going to be very expensive. On the other hand, those account maintenance fees will add up as it will take years to get past the minimums.Many firms don't have mainenance fees. So why not use a firm with no mainenance fee and no mutual funds fee? In an IRA it is very important to be keep the fees down.If you invest monthly in one no load mutual fund at Scottrade, you are going to be paying $204 a year for nothing. That is per mutual fund! If you were to diversify between several funds (which you should do) and only bought once a year per fund, the fee's also get big. Making only one buy in each of five mutual funds, you would pay an extra $85 to Scottrade. Don't let them blind you with "No maintenance fee". They make lots of money on the transaction itself. Buying mutual funds through Scottrade just doesn't make sense.
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