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All good info on Merrill. Thanks.

And some individual replies:

You mention that you have little much interest do you have?

I have a lot more concern than interest. Investment as a concept doesn't really excite me, and if I were to really get into it, the reason would be fear of not making the most with my money (and not an interest to invest). Quite frankly, the entire investment world really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I've been working at hedge funds for years now, and I have lost faith in mankind when it comes to investment. I realize it's a critical and necessary evil, but I also know it's a disgusting, convoluted, manipulated and corrupt mess.

I'd actually prefer a method of investing where I followed a typical low-cost method that had safe and effective returns over the long run. Doesn't need to be the best possible scenario, and I am not risk averse either, but I don't want to lose a lot going for all the marbles or because an advisor is milking me via fees.

The next question is do you plan on staying with this new employer's 401(k)? If it has a match, you should probably contribute to that level only, and direct the remainder of your retirement savings to your Roth IRA.

Just to clarify, my last employer had a 401k and that is what I rolled over into a personal Merrill account. My new employer has its own 401k plan that I just started contributing to when I started working there.

Can you contribute pre-tax from your pay check directly into your own TIRA account? I thought you sort of had to use the company 401k for pre-tax stuff?

As for Roth, I do not qualify due to income - one of the downsides to living in a place like CT ... middle class folk like myself are treated as elite rich on the national scale because of the cost of living here. There are people doing what I do in Arkansas and Arizona that are making probably 50% of what I make, but it cost them 50% of what I pay to have the same type of house. I drive a Honda Accord, not a Rolls. But since they set the limits for most tax related items at the national level, we get quadruple dinged all the time here in CT and NY.

One final note. Beginning July of this year, qualified retirement plan service providers must report ALL expenses to the employer, who must then, beginning Nov 1, include ALL such expense information that is paid by the plan or by the employee, to each employee. Because most plans are on a calendar year basis, the first full reporting of expenses to the employees will not begin until Jan 2012. Just a guess, but I think there will be many angry employees when they found out how much it is really costing them....

Ouch, I was naive enough to think that company 401k plans were fee free, since I don't remember seeing any fees in my statements or through the website.
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