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Helping out brother with money

Mar 8, 2012
My problem is that my brother (in his late 20s) is super lazy and would never do any financial planning on his own. I've been trying to get him to open a Roth IRA for a while, but no chance. So now I'm thinking of starting one for him for his birthday and setting it up so a certain portion of his paycheck will transfer automatically. But there's no way he will ever be motivated/responsible enough to do his own investing. I'm not sure what strategy to follow because I don't want to do his investments for him. Is it worth hiring a professional? Do the major online trading sites (Etrade, Vanguard, ScottTrade, etc.) offer some kind of package where you just add some money and it is professionally invested for you? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you! Laura, Chicago, IL

A sweep account and an IRA

Feb 22, 2012
I am 24 years old and starting to get a handle on my financial situation. I have started an emergency savings account and am ready to open a Roth IRA with $2,500. I started an application for an account, but it asked for my choice of a sweep fund. Nothing I've read has mentioned this and my Internet research has come up with limited and confusing information. What is a sweep fund and how do I choose one? Julia, Boise, ID

The Roth 403(b) option

Jan 17, 2012
My wife and I both work for a state university that recently began offering a Roth 403(b) option. I am 52 and she is 47. We both contribute the maximum to the traditional retirement plan and to a traditional 403(b), as well as making the maximum contribution to Roth IRAs. I've used various online calculators to try to determine if we should switch new 403(b) contributions to the Roth option, but the result always comes out to just a couple hundred dollars or less monthly income difference one way or the other. I wonder if I'm missing some significant considerations or if the decision really is just a toss-up for people our age. I'd greatly appreciate some insight on how best to weight this decision. Thanks! Jerry, Hillsborough, NC