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No. of Recommendations: 1
I've been away from this board for a couple weeks, and I have not read through this entire thread (yet), but let me agree TOTALLY with the first few I have read:

You are being screwed. These funds have extraordinarily high expenses, and don't have performance any better than Vanguard or other low-load funds besides.

Take the money away from Merrill, put it in a self-directed IRA, and then "self-direct" it. Depending on how much time you want to spend, buy individual stocks that you believe in, or at the very least, find a bunch of Vanguard no-load or low expense index funds and put the monies there. You can find a lot of very low cost ETF's, which act like a mutual fund for various sectors (technology, health, retail) etc. as well.

RUN, do not walk from this proposal. Horrible. Horrible squared. Cubed, maybe.
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