No. of Recommendations: 3
If you want to buy individual stocks, it is likely to be better to have your IRA with a broker. If you want a lot of advice and handholding, when you start out you can use a full-service broker where you have a relationship with a person who knows you and can give sensible advice, hopefully.
If you want to buy mutual funds, you are likely to do better with the mutual fund company. Some mutual fund companies will also allow you to buy individual stocks, and some brokers have a buffet of mutual funds from different companies.
So start by deciding what you want to invest in, and then choose the entity with which you want to open your account.
Best wishes, Chris
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