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<I'm now faced with picking through the 2 dozen or so offered funds and trying to maximize my eventual return.>>>>>

Take an Index fund if possible, or, copy the list, head for the Library, get Morningstar, and check out the funds' history for the last ten years. Compare with the S&P 500 returns for the last 10 years on this site (somewhere), Pick the best one or two.>

When doing this, pick one (or two) with the best returns for the last 10 years, but be sure they are pretty close to the best for the last 5, 3, and (preferably) 1 year as well. Otherwise, you may end up with a fund that did really well from 1988 to 1993 and below average ever since. Like my Japan Fund that was extremely good until 1990 or so.
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