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Is there a difference in the type of stocks you would choose for an ira vs. basic investing? I would think you would want to choose safer stocks for the IRA.

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Whether its an IRA or a cash account, its all your money and should be treated with care either way.

IRA is somewhat better for high beta stocks because you do not have to hold for a year to get best tax treatment. Hence, you can take profits (or losses) freely without concern.

Of course (at least until they change the law) paying capital gains rates in a cash account is better than the IRA overall because the IRA gains get taxed at ordinary income tax rates in retirement.

Best overall can be the Roth IRA, which is after tax when contributions are made, but pays no additional income tax on gains.
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