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I am in the process of opening a Roth for myself with my contribution going to the 2000 tax year. I assume it would it make sense to make my 2001 contribution as soon as I could afford it. Generally speaking, is my assumption correct?

Yes. Once it's in there, it grows tax free. Waiting just exposes more growth to taxation. (however, that market hasn't done much growing so far this year...)
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