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<<<<<<<<<should i be concerned about the tax efficiency of a mutual fund held in my IRA portfolio? seems i should only care about pre-tax gains as i will be taxed at my ordinary income bracket upon distribution (and no tax on my Roth). am i missing something? >>>>>>>>>>>

Yes, you should only care about the total gain you get from the mutual fund. Absolutely makes no difference if all of it is due to short term trading, since for IRA and ROTH funds, you will pay no taxes until withdrawal. And at withdrawal, assuming you are 59.5 years old, you it will be taxed as ordinary income (or not at all for ROTHs) and the rate depends on your total income for that year. The way in which the IRA grew (short or long term gains) will have no bearing whatsoever.
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