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<<<I guess the bottom line is this: What assets do I put in the Roth to best make use of the tax benefits of this account?>>>

In terms of asset category, whether you invest in mutual funds or buy individual stocks, you are in the same category - equities. So, this doesn't diversify your asset allocation. Other asset categories are cash or equivalents, fixed-income instruments, real estate, precious metals... You get the picture.

From my point of view when all you have is $2000, it is much harder to invest in individual securities plus you have high transaction costs. So, I personally chose to put my Roth IRA money into a mutual fund.

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