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I currently have an IRA account with Vanguard that I contribute $2000 to every year. I can download an IRA application from Vanguard (or Fidelity, etc.) My question is how do I start an IRA that has only stocks in it and not mutual funds? Thanks in advance for any help.
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how do I start an IRA that has only stocks in it and not mutual funds?

You need to open an IRA with a brokerage.

Go the Discount Broker area to decide which brokerage to use. Open account with them. Transfer what ever money you want to invest in stocks. Make your stock purchases. Voila!

Zev
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Greetings, Ncg2, and welcome. You asked:

<<I currently have an IRA account with Vanguard that I contribute $2000 to every year. I can download an IRA application from Vanguard (or Fidelity, etc.) My question is how do I start an IRA that has only stocks in it and not mutual funds?>>

If you wish to trade in stocks within an IRA, then you must establish what's called a self-directed IRA with a broker of your choice. Any broker will help you set one up. Just tell the one you pick what you want to do. You may establish the account in two ways, used alone or in combination. The first is to fill out the basic account application, and then return the completed form along with a check for your initial contribution. The second is to complete the basic application along with a transfer form that will direct a current IRA custodian to liquidate all or part of your account with that custodian and transfer the proceeds directly to the new self-directed IRA. On your completion and return of both forms, the broker will send the transfer instructions to your old IRA custodian. In 20 to 45 days the transfer to the new IRA will be completed per your instructions. The direct transfer between the IRA custodians means you have no worry concerning taxes or penalty regarding the withdrawal from the old IRA. At that point (assuming you deposited no cash initially) you may begin trading in securities on your own.

Regards….Pixy

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I just opened an online brokerage account with Etrade as a "Rollover IRA" and transferred funds from my former employer's 401k. I plan to invest the funds myself in stocks. As long as you establish the account as a regular IRA (or a Roth if you want to pay for the conversion), you can self direct your retirement portfolio. (If I'm wrong about this, I hope other fools will set me straight before I go down the wrong path!). I'm planning on investing in one favorite bank stock (not very foolish) and then probably will stick to the foolish four to start out with. Good luck.
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I believe that Vanguard has recently added brokerage capabilities. They are not as cheap as some of the other discounters, but I think there may be easy ways to transfer money between mutual funds and the brokerage.

Russ
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I have GE in my trading account but want to get it moved to my IRA with the same online brokerage company. is it possible to transfer my shares in that trading account to my Roth IRA? Or do I have to sell GE and buy it again with the Roth IRA cash?
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Greetings, Drkangle, and welcome. You asked:

<<I have GE in my trading account but want to get it moved to my IRA with the same online brokerage company. is it possible to transfer my shares in that trading account to my Roth IRA? Or do I have to sell GE and buy it again with the Roth IRA cash? >>

No, you may not transfer shares from your taxable account to your Roth IRA. Securities may be contributed to an IRA only as part of a rollover from another IRA or from an employer's qualified retirement plan. Otherwise, all IRA contributions must be made in cash. You'll have to sell those shares, deposit the cash, and then repurchase them inside the IRA.

Regards..Pixy
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