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>> I'm not sure that I correctly understand these words. My wife and I both have Vanguard IRAs (the traditional variety); Vanguard takes $333.32 every month by automatic debit from our checking account ($166.66 each). I'm not aware of any fees attendant to this. <<

If you're investing directly through Vanguard you may not pay a fee up front (I'm not sure - didn't check), but if you're trying to get into a Vanguard Index fund from E-trade, for example, they'll charge you a fee of say $75 to make the trade. Another way to look at fees is to consider the 0.15% that Vanguard scoops off the top yearly as management fee. No, it doesn't come directly out of your account, but it does come out of the pool that you partially own by means of your shares and thereby decreases your returns...hence the big stink TMF has made about mutual funds (among other things).

Hope that helps...
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