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A couple of years ago I started an IRA with Strong Funds, enticed by the no fee regardless of balance, as I was just starting out. I planned to transfer the IRA to a discount brokerage or another mutual fund (where I could buy better funds) eventually.

Today, as I was reviewing my year-end statement, I noticed a message stating that the IRA liquidation fee would increase from $10 to $50 on Feb. 1, 2000.

Help! After enduring subpar returns for two years in order to avoid an annual fee (a move I now think was pretty un-Foolish) I am anxious to get my money out of there on Jan. 31, before they jack up the liquidation fee on me.

I know that I can "transfer" the IRA to another institution, but I assume that that would take a little while, and since the transferee initiates the transfer Strong probably would apply its post-Feb. 1 liquidation fee. Can I therefore request a distribution check, and then immediately sign it over to another institution without penalty? Alternatively, can I initiate the transfer from Strong Funds, just telling it where I want the money to go and telling the transferee to wait instead of trying to initiate the transfer?


K. Manfield
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