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<<I'm planning to open a Roth IRA through Waterhouse next month. I'd like to know what (if any)
effect those spiffy $12 trading fees have on my annual $2000 contribution. Specifically, if I buy
$1900 of Widget Inc. with a $12 broker fee, does that $12 come from my annual contribution or does it come from an associated cash account?>>

It will come out of your contribution. It would be nice if commissions could be paid seperately (like IRA plan administrator fees), but that's not the case.
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