My friend calls me last night - not to mention he was interrupting a lavish gourmet dinner that I was enjoying [okay, this part didn’t happen] - and says “hey dude, I need some help. I opened up an Etrade IRA a couple of summers back and contributed $3K to it, but it hasn’t done a single thing since. It’s still just sitting at $3K, do you know if there’s a problem?”
I did end up laughing over the phone at this, but explained to him that even when you put money in a vending machine you need to still make a selection. He was under the impression that Etrade would do this all for him automatically.