posted: Dec. 7, 2012 @ 10:47a
I'd like to open Roth IRA account, the problem that I have is that I do not know where to open it, Everybody says just open an account at Fidelity or Vanguard and put it into "this" or "that" fund, however no one is willing to talk about any specifics, about any possible account limitations or fees, or available fund options, and I found it next to impossible to find that kind of information on the respective websites, even getting to the list of available Fidelity funds takes 6 clicks on Fidelity website.
Basically instead of just throwing my money into a fund in an IRA account and forgetting about it, I would like to have a little more control over it. I'd like the ability to move my money into "safe" funds if I see a crash coming, and I'd like to move it back into equities or stock funds if you will whenever I see fit. Yes, I'm aware of the "you can't time the market", but I want that option just in case. I also look for a place that doesn't nickel and dime your account to death with all the various fees.
So I need to open IRA account somewhere that:
1. Will have short term cash alternative funds (short term treasury bills or whatnot) that won't lose a lot of value during a crash
2. Will have variety of low expense ratio index funds
3. Preferably will have several low expense ratio funds invested in dividend paying equities
4. Have low or non existent yearly account fees
5. Have low or non existent transaction fees when I move my money from one fund into another (I'm including both load and transaction fees in that, basically any kind of fee)
6. Have low or non existent fund fees. I've read for example that in the past Vanguard had $10 fee for each fund account with less than $5K balance. I'd like to avoid these if possible.
7. Will not have any limitations (or non excessive limitations) on how often I can move my money from one fund into another, my 401k for example limits how often I can move my money around, for example I cannot move my money in and out of certain fund more than twice a month and some funds even have "termination" fees. I'd like to avoid this kind of shenanigans if possible.
8. Ideally won't charge extra for paper statements. I can live with e-statements, but I like paper.
Also, I have several additional questions just to be complete
9, Are the yearly IRA contribution limits based on the calendar year? Meaning hypothetically speaking I have until December 31st to put 5K into Roth IRA for the 2012 year, at which point the "limit" resets and I can fund my account again?
10. If I open account with say Fidelity, would I be able to buy non-Fidelity funds, and if so, what kind of fees if any would I be charged for this? What about Vanguard, or TRowe?
11. Would any of the Fidelity/Vanguard/TRowe allow me to park my money in plain old Cash? Out of curiosity?
12. Do any of the Fidelity/Vanguard/TRowe have any minimum limits to how much money you can allocate into any particular fund? I.e. say $2000 minimum to buy any of the funds? And what happens if the fund value goes below $2000 due to market movements?
13. Would any of the Fidelity/Vanguard/TRowe have any problems with me funding my account with one big chunk of money instead of monthly deposits? Or would I have to pay extra fees for that?
Yeah... rofl... didn't expect this list to grow as long. I wanted to open an account and fund it by the end of the year, but I procrastinated, my bad. Now I have a week to decide where to open an account. So... Any input would be highly appreciated. Thanks!