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Hi, I was directed here by the credit card board (one of my regular haunts). I'm a 25 year old who would like to open a Roth IRA later this year, summer or fall, and am looking for any and all advice concerning that. I was probably going to look into what my credit union has to offer first, then broaden my search. Are there questions that I should definitely ask, things I should definitely avoid? Any help is appreciated. TIA!

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One thing that is highly recommended is the Fool's guide to IRAs.

If you're in a hurry,

or even quicker, the 60 second guide to IRAs:

If you still have questions after reading, look through the others, then if you STILL have questions, post here. Some things won't be clear on the first run-through.

I wouldn't say "you absolutely must ask your CU these things", but I will say that you should compare what your CU offers in the way of IRAs to what other potential IRA custodians offer.
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If you hurry, you can still make a Roth IRA contribition for 2001 until April 15 (Monday).

Fools would suggest you give careful consideration to investing your Roth funds in an S&P 500 Index Fund. One of the best is Vanguard 500 Index fund, VFINX. So placing your Roth at Vanguard could be the way to go.

Other funds also offer index funds. You can also do SPY the S&P 500 tracking stock traded on the Amex. For that you would want a brokerage account--preferably at a discount broker. Most brokerages also offer mutual funds, but sometimes they have service charges. If you plan to trade stocks, a brokerage account is the way to go. Otherwise, a mutual fund account is likely to be more cost effective.

You credit union is likely to offer you CDs for your Roth IRA. That's not an especially attractive investment. Fools think you should be mostly invested in equities unless you have a very good reason not to.

Best of luck to you.
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