12/11/2013 9:00 PM ET|
5 investment moves to make in December
It's easy to forget about your retirement savings amid the holiday bustle, but here are a few things you should tend to before the end of the year.
Almost everyone is busy during the holiday season. It's tempting to just forget about your investments in December. But there are a few things you need to take care of before the end of the year:
Check asset allocation
Risk tolerance and investment horizon can change quite a bit in one year. December is a great time to take a look at your portfolio and life situation to see if your target asset allocation needs to be updated. It is important to figure out a target asset allocation that you are comfortable with and stick with it through thick and thin. Finding a good financial advisor will also be helpful.
The stock market ran up tremendously in 2013. If you haven't checked your asset allocation lately, it probably deviated significantly from your target. The end of the year is a good time to rebalance your portfolio and bring your asset allocation back on target. Rebalancing will help you stick to your asset allocation target regardless of what the stock market does.
Sell some losers
Now is also a good time to sell some stocks that haven't been performing well. You can use the losses to offset your gain or even a portion of your earned income.
Be careful that you don't run afoul of the wash sale rule, though: If you buy the same stocks within 30 days (before or after the sale), then you won't be able to take the tax deduction.
If you're not on track to max out your 401k contribution this year, December is generally your last chance to increase it. Don't forget about the Roth IRA as well. The last day to contribute to this year's Roth IRA is April 15, 2014, but I think it's better to get it out of the way this year and start 2014 with a clean slate.
The maximum contribution amount for 401ks and IRAs will be unchanged for 2014. If you haven't been able to take full advantage of your 401k and Roth IRA, then give your retirement funds a hand by raising your contribution next year.
Take required minimum distributions
This one is only for people over age 70 1/2. Don't forget to take the required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA or 401k before the end of the year. The penalty for forgetting to take a RMD is quite expensive: a 50 percent tax on the amount not taken.
Enjoy the holidays. December is a great time of year to wrap up your finances. These five checkups shouldn't take too much time and they will be helpful in the long run. Let's get them out of the way so we can all enjoy the rest of the holiday season with family and friends.
More from U.S. News & World Report:
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I've been advocating this to my clients since the start of November - and we're right on track going into 2014. If you ignored my advice on on 'shorting' a few this month, you've already missed your chance (V_L, Akimoto, brent-regal- are you listening). Maybe you can still take the required minimums out of the IRA/ 401k's still but time is running out.
And who cares about what the Fed might or might not do with QE- we all know that it will end soon & if you've been paying attention, making those yearly assessments to your own portfolio's, you should be fine going into 2014. The big worries now are how the insurance companies going to react, or I should say their stock price, when folks find out that they're not insured- and those that have registered for Obamacare, don't 'pony' up the money for that first premium payment ?
January has historically been good for equities but there is still much uncertainty going into next year- Sooo...- be conservative- don't over extend yourselves, and stay away from the useless rancor of washed up lenders (V_L) & the great pretenders (akimoto).
"I've been advocating this to my clients since the start of November - and we're right on track going into 2014."
Could it get any more dangerous and irresponsible to ignore the massive evidence for failure and be the advocate for misinformation involving other people's money? Certainly you will leave town on the quick, lay low and change your name... but you will forever be branded the loser that you are for it.
There's a book... Fiat Money Inflation in France. Andrew Dickson White wrote it. He was a REAL student of economics and financial history. The book chronicles the French Revolution. Everything we have been enduring is in the book. YOU can step into any Inflationist's shoes in the book, you emulate their same arrogance. You don't know anything. QE and fiat printed money have raised rats from sewers and made them financiers. Still rats. What good are game tokens if no one else recognizes them and there is no economy here establishing them as valuable? Don't mention me in your posts... I didn't "miss" anything. I operate counter-cyclical businesses that work. You don't have a clue what I'm referring to. You don't need to, you are incapable of seeing anything more than greed. You are a loser.
GET THE HELL OUTTA THE U.S.!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OR BE SURROUNDED BY BOTTOM FEEDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"As for "my advice", I don't care what you losers do. I have been nearly fully invested since the bottom of the bear and today I'm 100% in. I don't need to rearrange my portfolio,"
You didn't get in because of skill, you don't touch it because you are clueless. This isn't even your real ID, you were permanently banned. The TRUTH is, you are a psychopath. The markets are artificially pumped and there aren't enough working people to sustain them.
Anybody read the article we can't comment on... Taper: Would make risky assets riskier. You bet your aunt they will. Especially since the Fed won't be engineering the cash flow. With the Volcker Rule in place, it's a race... which Once Too Big To Fail Bank... will.
My guess on failing order: Citi, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs go down simultaneously (butt buddies).
Bail-in... electronically seized funds pulled from your accounts to cover banker losses.
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