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Greetings, MotleyMoose, and welcome.

<<1) I don't know much about the Roth IRA except for the basic tax differences between it and the normal IRA and the $2000/yr limit. Any pointers to information I can print out and read at my leisure would be appreciated.>>

You've been pointed to Kat's excellent site, and that's really a great comprehensive source for all you need to know about the Roth.

<<2) If I open a RIRA with Merril Lynch (hypothetically), is it simple to switch it to another broker (full-service or discount) later? I will soon be moving at least part of my money to a discount broker for my stock trading.>>

Absolutely. All brokers can guide you through the steps for doing so.

<<3) I know there are a lot of options for managing/what you put into an IRA. I'm interested in completely determining what stocks go in. What other options are there? (basic info, I suppose) >>

An IRA can be invested in a wide variety of vehicles from funds to individual securities. As to what you should do, that's up to you. In Fooldom, we prefer stocks for our long term investments. If that's what you want to learn about, you're in the right place.

You're new to Fooldom and, I assume, to investing as well. That's great on both counts! You have wandered into a forum that believes you, as an individual, can do far better for yourself than most professional money managers. Provided, that is, you take some time to learn a few basic investment concepts and do some self-examination to see where you fit on the risk tolerance scale. Therefore, why not take some time now -- not later -- to be sure about what you want to do. Start first by reading The 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly, which you can access from the main, opening screen to The Motley Fool. They will suggest some important things you should consider. Then I suggest you toddle over to your local library, discount bookstore, or even here in the Fool Mart, and pick up some easily read, easily understood, inexpensive texts that will thoroughly explain how to invest in stocks using some simple systems that will take but an hour per year of your time (if you're slow) yet produce returns that put the majority of professional money managers to shame. I suggest and commend the following to you: "Beating the Dow" by O'Higgins; "The Dividend Investor" by Petty and Knowles; "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" by the Gardner brothers; "One Up on Wall Street" by Lynch; and "What Works on Wall Street" by O'Shaughnessey. All are well worth their low cost and the small investment in time it takes to read them. Get them and read them. You'll be glad you did.

While you're doing all that, also take some time to explore the various nooks and crannies of Fooldom to see what others are doing and what they're discussing. In the process, you'll gain a wealth of knowledge and information that will serve to claify how you want to approach this very personal issue. Don't be afraid to ask a question anywhere in Fooldom. Folks around here are great about answering questions and clearing up misunderstandings.


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