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Subject:  Re: retirement investing Date:  11/25/2005  8:55 PM
Author:  pauleckler Number:  48416 of 96881

Cliff is right on the money, but let me add my 0.02 worth.

I use Fidelity Brokerage services and moved my IRA there from Solomon Smith Barney a few years ago. SSB rates are negotiable but nothing like the commissions paid at Fidlity. The end came when I had a $50K preferred stock trade in mind. SSB wanted $2K in commissions each way. I about died. Fidelity charges $8 per trade. A large transaction can sometimes result in several trades if they cannot scare up all the shares on the same day. But even $100 is high for such a transaction.

So to me, you would consider going with SSB only if your broker is doing an excellent job for you. As Cliff points out, mutual funds are an excellent place to begin while you learn to do it yourself. Especially index funds.

And by the way, Fidelity offers free research reports like S&P reports on stocks. I would rate what they offer as excellent. As you learn, they can help. And I am sure you will find management services available from Fidelity too, if that is what you want.
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