No. of Recommendations: 1
Okay. Smitty37, calm down. Take some deep breaths and repeat to yourself... "It's only money, it's only money, it's only money". The more uptight about something you are, the more likely you are to make a bad choice.

You're certainly welcome to open an IRA at your bank, just earning the teensy interest they give and eating the fees, while you decide what you REALLY want to do. In fact, I recommend that. Even if you don't make any progress due to the fees, at least your money is inside the IRA, safe from taxes.

As with any investment, you have to ask yourself:
- What's my goal?
- What's my timeframe?
- What's my risk tolerance? (How big of a drop could I stomach? How catastrophic is it to not meet the goal?)

Then, given those, pick an investment that fits with the answers to those questions.

A couple of specific answers and random comments follow.

- You're not a "fool" (small f) any longer -- those are people who repeatedly make wrong choices. You're now a Fool, someone who challenges conventional Wisdom.
- You're allowed to keep on researching until you're comfortable. The opportunities will still be there next year. Don't rush into something you're not comfortable with.
- Roth IRA is generally a good idea unless you're in a high tax bracket now.
- You are correct that banks aren't the best place to open an IRA, and that going directly to the mutual fund company is a good idea.
- Diversification isn't going to help you very much with a $2000 account. You'll need to start slow & low risk for a few years and get it up to $8000 before you worry about that.
- I picked Vanguard for my IRA and I'm happy -- but their low balance fees are annoying.
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