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I'm pushing 70, been invested in mutual funds for the last 50 years or so, made most of the mistakes at least once, although I manage to find a new one occasionally. I previously had my retirement funds in a qualified pension plan with myself as the administrator (and sole participant) but the government reporting requirements eventually became too onerous. I don't want to get involved in that situation again. I rolled the pension plan funds over into an IRA with American Funds through a full-service broker.
I recently decided to manage a small portion of my IRA by myself and had the funds transferred into an account with the same broker. I'm finding that the broker's fees are a major handicap. One option is to transfer the funds elsewhere and trade on-line. It looks like the actual transfer would be straightforward but I'm leery of the record-keeping and reporting requirements.
I invested some personal funds through E-trade and it appears that they do a very good job with the record-keeping but I'm not sure how it would work with an IRA.
I cashed-out all my funds on a rally in late November because of the overall economic situation but I'm planning on getting back into the market selectively with an emphasis on nice, strong, boring dividend-paying companies. One alternative to picking the stocks myself would be to stay with American Funds and just go with one of their funds that focuses on dividends. If the paperwork involved isn't prohibitively complicated and time-consuming, I'd prefer to pick my own. This seems an ideal opportunity to do it.
One other consideration is that I've noticed a degradation in short-term memory and with a family history of Alzheimer's Disease it's possible that in a few years I may have to put the funds back into a mutual fund.
I'd appreciate any suggestions of other alternatives, advice, comments or observations from anyone, especially anyone who's been through all this already.
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