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Thanks again for all the help! I've done a bit more thinking and have a scenario I'd like to throw out there and see what thoughts everyone has.

Scottrade seems to be a good choice. It would allow me to get my feet wet with a minimum initial investment, with low to no fees involved (correct me if I'm wrong there, please).

So. I open a Roth IRA account with Scottrade, investing $500. Looking around I think the Schwab SCHX ETF might just be a decent choice for a long term investment. SCHX tracks the Dow large cap total stock market index, appears to have a low expense ratio, and I'm comfortable with their current major holding....granted, with my limited knowledge that doesn't say much. Some of you may ask why I wouldn't just buy direct from Schwab save the $7 cost of buying the ETF, it's a good question and the only answer I can give is: it allows me to get in at only $500 and over the long run that $7 wouldn't really kill me.

Is something like SCHX a decent beginning investment? Am I an idiot to consider getting that through Scottrade instead of just going to Schwab directly?
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