If the funds are in a taxable account, Exchange Traded Funds offer a cost competitive alternative to mutual funds AND you have much better control over your tax situation than you will have by investing in a mutual fund(s). If you opt for ETF's, you can own the same indices as a mutual fund. Prior to either investment, do some research on equal weighted versus capitalization weighted indexes. While they own the very same stocks, over the last several years, the equal weight funds have dramatically returned more in gains than have the capitalization weighted funds. If your $12,000 is in an IRA, the tax difference between mutual funds and ETF's is not important, but the type of index vehicle you buy is still important.
I suggest no load index mutual funds, can't go wrong with them. Check out Vanguard.
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