Roth Accounts are just ones you pay the taxes up front so when you cash them out you don't have taxes to pay...
For instance you put $10,000 in today, pay your taxes, you take it out at age 62 or whatever and whatever it's earned is yours, no taxes... More or less, in a simplified way of explaining it, that's all it is. It's something everyone should invest in immediately when they start their careers because it's probably the best investment towards retirement for everyone to use.
Myself, I have no money to be pissing around with in the markets, so I don't. I have as an experiment or for classes, but never for my own benefit down a long-term path. I actually made money off of Hasbro once in a little experiment, but that's something I highly recommend AGAINST trying.
Seems like most people have things pretty under control for themselves... That's good.
To me, I feel that if you're not into this stuff, and if you don't have very much money to throw around with investing, it's in your best interest to let a professional handle your money. Most of us know someone who has done well under an investment broker, and I think it's best to talk to some of these people, find out who they use, and then get in touch with them and set up meetings to discuss his/her future with them. For instance my mother's best friend who passed away had one of the best investors in my area who I know (made her tons after a messy and costly divorce, and she was eventually quite well off, but sadly she died young)... My girlfriend's father was able to retire early partly due to his investor, etc... It's possible to jump into the market when it's high or low and make money though, it's just who is "steering your particular ship", so to speak.
I've been a business student the majority of my life and I don't even trust myself 100% with investing. I like a specialist opinion.
The main thing is if you're in things for the long term, have specific and realistic goals you want met, and if you have a diverse portfolio, you're going to end up doing well, but portfolio divesification's much harder than it sounds. I'd be reluctant to put one together myself... As long as you're not looking for quick/high returns you're going to be ok though with a reputeable investor though.
Oh, and I prefer investors who take their cut on the back end of things because they're the ones who are gonna work harder to make you more... But that's my opinion, some feel otherwise for their own reasons. You may pay more with my option but you may yield more too. Just my observations though.
I'm sure people with actual retirement build-ups know more than me about where they stand. There's plenty of options...
Oh, let me also say if you're looking through various financial institutions for investment, DO NOT discount your insurance companies in your area. I know that a recent small account I had (holding my $ for Celebration 3) didn't yield much but like maybe $50 or so extra, but had I looked around a LITTLE harder I'd have found a 3 - 4% higher rate at most Insurance company.
Fin. Inst. De-regulation has opened up a lot of competition, and rates are a bit more competitive, so don't hold yourself to strict ideas of who you feel can do the best for you. Had I looked a little harder I'd have done a bit better in a fairly short period of time. I'm kicking myself in the ass over that now... That's my gas money to and from Celebration 3 right there had I done things better. When I put it in those terms I really begin to hate myself.