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My friend is trying to scrape together some money to open a Roth IRA by April 15 (to meet the 1999 contribution deadline). I know $2,000 is maximum allowed contribution, but I was wondering if the broerage houses have a minimum on what is needed to open an account?

Can she open a Roth with just $500? Do most of the discount brokerages handle Roths? I figured that would be better since she's low on funds and doesn't want to pay high commissions. Can anyone recommend who she should use (she doesn't have a computer--so she would not open an online account).

She's on a tight budget, but I think she'll do $40 a week once she gets started (for a $2000 annual contribution).

Thanks for any help.

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