You could buy individual stocks and hold for the long term. With the exceptions of taxes on dividends, no capitol gains would be owed until you sold these stocks and then only 20% tax. Indexing with SPY, DIA, and QQQ would be treated the same for tax purposes when held for the long term. I personally prefer QQQ, but that is an individual choice for each investor to make. I would suggest however that you fund a Roth IRA for $2000 each year instead of a traditional IRA, simply because the gains are tax free if held until you reach 59 1/2 compared to a traditional IRA.
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