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I like an IRA with a brokerage account, but 1 thing to consider is the fact that you do have a limitless amount of choices. What do you invest in? When do you switch? If we are truly Foolish then we know we can't time the market and chasing last years big returns is also a hard way to go. I like to limit my choices to a few good funds and go from there. It is true that John Hancock does underpreform sometimes, but my global tech fund did quite well last year (145%). When I started my investing last year I said I would be very happy getting 15% annual return. true alot of funds did better, that is still above the amount of min. return that I said would make me happy. In other words in hindsight almost all of us would have put are money in the better funds if we new in advance what they would be. Set you own benchmark and stick to it. Give your funds time to grow and invest for the long term. This is just the way I see it. I hope that it helps some.
Robbdoe
P.S. if you do go with a brokerage account IRA you will pay more in fees for trades so you must choose well or it will cost you more in the long run.
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