jayinSF wrote:I was about to roll it over into my new firm's 401K but then a friend of mine who's a broker (and about to become a certified financial planner) told me that it would be better to put it in an IRA, because that will give me more flexibility. He wasn't pressuring me at all but indicated he'd be happy to do it for me if I wanted. The first question you have to answer for yourself is: Do I want to take charge of my own financial decisions or do I want to pay someone else to do it?If you want to take charge yourself, then thank your friend and politely decline his offer. Of course, we hope that's what you'll do, but if not that's OK too.My question is, should I go with Schwab and just pick my own funds that I want to invest in? Are no-load funds really necessarily better than load funds? Or are the load funds able to offer funds that give essentially the same return for about the same cost as no-load funds? If you're still reading, you must have decided to take charge of your own financial life. Welocme Fool!Some short answers: 1) Your friend was right, a self-directed IRA is a more flexible way to go. Do it!2) IMHO Schwab is not the broker to choose. There are many brokers out there with lower trading rates and excellent mutual fund selection available. I use Waterhouse and am satisfied. There are many other good ones. Don't choose a broker that charges more than $15 per trade for stocks. Right now you're focused on mutual funds, but you're very likely to grow into buying individual stocks later. You won't loose anything by picking a deep discount broker.Read Step 4:Opening an Account with a Brokerhttp://www.fool.com/School/13Steps/StepFour.htm3)Yes, no-load funds are better than load funds. Precisely because they are no-load. Loads are sales commissions paid to brokers for getting you to choose the fund. Loads are not fees paid to fund managers for managing the fund. You do not get a better fund just because it costs more. Furthermore, even paying high salaries to fund managers doesn't get you improved performance. The Vanguard Index 500 fund beats most other funds most years.Read Step 5: Consider an Index Fund for Startershttp://www.fool.com/School/13Steps/StepFive.htmCome on over to the Index Funds board and we can talk in great detail about why Vanguard Index funds suit so many investors.Cheers!GW
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