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<< When I make a trade, there is a broker fee. Where does this money come from? >>

It must come from your existing IRA funds.

<< If it comes from the available balance, is this considered a withdraw? >>

No.

<< If not, is this considered a fee? >>

It really doesn't matter what you call it, the purchase and sale commissions are part of the price of the stock and must be paid from the IRA funds.

<< What are the implications of fees? American Express charges a custodial fee even if you never make a trade. Others only charge for trades. >>

If there is a maintenance fee not attributable to specific assets tax law allows you to pay that from non-IRA funds. (It is also a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A, subject to the 2% of AGI exclusion.) I will suggest, however, that you consider a custodian who doesn't charge maintenance fees. There are a lot of them out there.

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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