With a rollover IRA in a large fund family, you can switch from one fund to another without tax consequences. You help pay the fund manager's salary. Is he earning it? If you roll it to a broker and buy stock, you will pay the broker a commission. Do you get advice? Do you want advice? Will you, with or without the advice of a broker, do a better job of picking stocks than the fund manager? If your rollover is relatively small, like under $50000, and certainly if under $10000, you probably are financially ahead to leave your rollover where it is, particularly if you are with a low-cost mutual fund company. If it is a big rollover, like over $150000, and you are quite adept at picking stocks, you may well do better on your own. A mutual fund manager must buy when people want shares of his fund, which is when the market has been doing well and prices are up. He must sell when prices are down. Janus is getting devastated. They got out of some long term holdings last year, people got big capital gains distributions and the shareholders must sell shares to pay their taxes. This forces the fund manager to sell to meet the redemptions. Within your IRA if you hold a good stock, you can decide to ride out the storm, as there are no immediate tax consquences to anything you do. The necessity of mutual fund managers to buy high and sell low is a major reason your chances of beating 'em are really quite good. You might, with a large rollover, roll just part of the money to a discount broker, manage it yourself, and compare your performance to that of the fund manager. Best wishes, Chris
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