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Author: SpiderAnt105 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75335  
Subject: Where to open my IRA? Date: 6/5/2001 3:22 PM
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I'm ready to start saving money for retirement I'm just not sure where. I've been reading the boards for a while and have looked at TIAA-CREF, is everyone eligible to open an account or do you have to be a teacher?
Vanguard, I want to invest in the 500 index fund but right now I only have $500 to start, they need $1000 to start. Just save another $500 and go there?

I have also looked at some of the discount brokers, Scottrade and Sharebuilder. You can open an IRA with them and with Scottrade you can buy Vanguard funds. I don't plan on trading stocks and not sure of the fees with these places as compared to those mentioned above.

Right now I'm leaning toward saving another $500 and going to Vanguard.
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Author: bigcaat Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 30079 of 75335
Subject: Re: Where to open my IRA? Date: 6/5/2001 3:53 PM
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Hi Spider.

I'm ready to start saving money for retirement I'm just not sure where. I've been reading the boards for a while and have looked at TIAA-CREF, is everyone eligible to open an account or do you have to be a teacher?

No, you don't have to be a teacher...anyone can open a retirement account there. I have a Roth there and am very happy with it.

***********************

Vanguard, I want to invest in the 500 index fund but right now I only have $500 to start, they need $1000 to start. Just save another $500 and go there?

Initial investment is not your only concern. Vanguard has charges fees to low-balance investors.

The following links might help:

Prior post re: Vanguard Fees: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14988801

Article comparing TIAA to Vanguard for Small Investors: http://www.indexfunds.com/articles/20001115_VG-TIAA_com_tax_JK.htm

***********************

I have also looked at some of the discount brokers, Scottrade and Sharebuilder. You can open an IRA with them and with Scottrade you can buy Vanguard funds. I don't plan on trading stocks and not sure of the fees with these places as compared to those mentioned above.

If you don't want to trade, I don't see the need in it. If you every want to leave, they will charge you. Why not just open up your Roth (I'm assuming a Roth) directly with the fund company itself? It's very convenient and both companies (Vanguard and TIAA) are nice to deal with...at least as far as my experience has been. (knock on wood :) )

If it were me...(and it was)...I would go with TIAA-CREF for the meantime. Look into TCEIX, their Equity Index Fund. It has low expenses, and covers the broad market (Russell 3000). Then, if you want to diversify a little, they have an international fund (TIINX) and a bond fund (TIPBX) that you can contribute to without all of the fees.

www.tiaacref.com
www.vanguard.com

Hope this helps.
Good Luck,
Caat

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Author: gahdzila One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 30092 of 75335
Subject: Re: Where to open my IRA? Date: 6/6/2001 9:41 AM
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hiya spiderant

Cat just said ALMOST all of the advice I could give ya...

last time I checked, vanguard charges $10 per year for any account with less than $10,000...plus has some IRA custodian fees (double check on that...I'm not really sure)

there are no low balance fees at TIAA-CREF. I own some TCEIX in a taxable account, so I'm not really sure about the IRA's, but I dont think they have any IRA fees, either.

TIAA-CREF's expense ratios are a little higher than comparable vanguard funds, but not really enough to justify that low balance requirement, IMO...here's an article that discusses it:
http://www.indexfunds.com/articles/20001115_VG-TIAA_com_tax_JK.htm

have looked at TIAA-CREF, is everyone eligible to open an account or do you have to be a teacher?

I got that impression the first time I went poking around their website, but you don't. you can download the mutual fund prospectus from their website, and it explains it. www.tiaacref.com

You can open an IRA with them and with Scottrade you can buy Vanguard funds. I don't plan on trading stocks and not sure of the fees with these places as compared to those mentioned above.

if you only plan on holding mutual funds, and don't plan on trading stocks, and decide on a fund family that you're happy with, opening an account directly with the mutual fund company is almost always the most cost-effective route.

HTH,

gahdzila


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