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Fidelity? I'm still waiting for the forms that I called and asked for two months ago. And they charge $75 to make a trade. Online. Ouch.

Seems you have a distinct bias mentioning only this piece of information.

That's for funds that aren't in their No-Transaction-Fee selections. There are plenty in that selection, so you should never need to pay the $75. Though yes, it's ridiculous. I think it's just more of an incentive to force people to use the NTF funds, and thereby force companies to join the NTF network.

Stock trades are anywhere from $8 to $20. But the OP said he was mainly interested in funds.

For your situation, Vanguard sounds like a very good choice. The minimums on IRAs are less for the funds and I believe for the IRA they may waive the account fee at only $500 or so (ask). The only problem is all their index funds have a $10K minimum, or else it's $10/year.

But Fidelity doesn't allow their index funds without $10K period. No option to pay a fee, you just can't be in them. Athough they may have index funds by other companies in their NTF network will lesser minimums (and higher expense ratio).

Such is the pain of a 'small' investor, which only a few K to invest. One good news, is as of January 1 you'll be elibile to put yet another $4K in a Roth for 2006, so you can begin to work your way up to levels that cause less problems :)
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