No. of Recommendations: 0
"With my managed IRA, I pay a $12 management fee if my fund balance is below a certain amount""

I'm confused here. Wouldn't it be a low balance fee if it for falling below a certain balance? Do you mean self directed when you say managed? Assuming both of those to be true, there are plenty of brokers out there who will set you up for no minimum and no custodial fees.

Some people like to buy more frequently than once a year, and in amounts as small as $100. $7 is 7% off the top, which is quite a hurdle to overcome. 30 x 7 is $210. I picked 30 because the max contribution to a self directed IRA is $3000/$100 = 30. Don't forget there will be a commission on the backend as well. But if you prefer throwing the whole $3000 in at once, and are ignoring portfolio diversification, then $7 once a year is pretty negligible.

BTW, the ETF is a mutual fund managed by others. There are people at Standard & Poor's who pick the stocks that enter the index, and sometimes the ones that leave. An S&P 500 fund is an S&P 500 fund is an S&P 500 fund, as long as the expense ratio is nearly the same. But the S&P is not a mechanical index like the Nasdaq 100 by any means.
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