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I actually posted this in the retirement discussion board, but this board seems to be more active so hopefully someone can help.

I just opened an IRA account with sharebuilder. I didn't realize I would have to pick the stocks etf's etc. to fund this Roth IRA. I guess I don't see the real advantage here; why would you buy stocks or etf's to put them in an IRA account vs. a regular online brokerage account? Can you still sell them if you see turmoil without penalty? What should I be looking for when I buy a stock or etf for the RIRA. Is a stock better than an etf? Maybe I was very naieve when I set this thing up, but I truly thought I could just send them my $5000 every year and let the IRA gods do their foolish work!

Thank you so much!
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