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<<Do you think then that it would be better to put the money into a no load mutual fund with no transaction fee? Or would you pay the discount broker's fee and get the stock?>>

Around these parts (the Fool, that is), actively managed mutual funds are not held in very high esteem, due to their high annual expenses (~1.5% or higher), poor performance compared to the S&P500 index & high turnover (leads to high taxes= high expenses, altho this last is no factor for an IRA). So, generally speaking, individual stocks are preferred. Of course, if you pick a rotten stock, you'll lose to the mutual fund. You also need diversification, which 1 stock won't provide. Go read the 13 steps & learn more, you'll be glad you did.

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