No. of Recommendations: 0
Greetings, neilsong, and welcome to Fooldom.

<<(1) Can most discount brokers handle any mutual fund, regardless of which one, or do I have to check to see if the broker can handle the funds I have? >>

They can, but the question is will they and how much they will charge for doing so. You have to ask to find out. Also, there's no need to transfer the funds themselves to the broker. I don't know of a mutual fund that won't hold the IRA for you as a custodian. All you have to do is have the investment transferred from your old broker to the fund itself. The bad part is you'll end up with multiple statements and IRA fees.

<<(2) what type of fees can I expect the discount broker to charge for the money that stays in mutual funds, as opposed to the money I plant to re-invest in stocks (where some buying is obviously gong to occur)?>>

The fees will vary from broker to broker. Again, you'll have to ask. My guess is that generally as long as you're not trading, there will be no fee aside from the IRA maintenance charge assessed annually against the entire account. That's one fee as opposed to the multiple fees I mentioned above. But do ask.

<<(3) is there any advantage to selecting Fidelity as my new broker if the mutual funds I plan to keep are Fidelity funds (hey, I'm just guessing that they're the same folks - I haven't researched this)? >>

Again, check to be sure, but I think it should allow you to switch freely and without cost between funds in the Fidelity family.

<<(4) what do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of my plan (the total monies we're talking about are a little over 50k)?>>

IMHO, the biggest disadvantage is you will still be keeping 50% of your stash in mutual funds that consistently under-perform the market. But if it makes you comfortable keeping your money there, that in and of itself is an advantage to you.

<<For what it's worth, this money is all I have to show for 25 years of corporate hell. Now I'm slowly, cautiously starting my own home based business out of pocket (no more debt for me). So for the moment, making more contributions to the IRA is out of the question. If it's gonna grow, it'll be through hand's on management of the money that's already there.>>

All the more reason to me for you to take charge rather than the funds. You will be your own best money manager. With a modicum of knowledge and confidence in your own abilities, there's no reason you can't consistently do better -- especially over the long term -- then the fund managers. You will, though, have to take an abiding personal interest in what's happening rather than leaving the outcome to others. Just browse the various folders within Fooldom and you'll see it's not as hard as it's cracked up to be. And it sure as heck is a lot more rewarding.

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