Make a List, Check it Twice

December 24, 2013
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2013 has been quite the year for stock investors. Bond investors had a tougher go of it, and international stocks fell somewhere in between. Of course, readers of this letter are probably invested in a diversified portfolio geared to best meet their own financial goals, making the daily swings in any given asset class more palatable.

While market movements are important, the most important activities that can help you maximize your financial goals lie within your own activities. With just over a week until we put 2013 in the history books, we wanted to make sure that you’ve done everything you can do to maximize your financial plan.

Do you have investments in a taxable account? Did you know that you can sell positions that have an unrealized loss in order to offset a certain amount of income and/or realized capital gains on your tax return? For low tax bracket investors, selling some holdings with long term unrealized gains may make sense.

What about retirement accounts? If you are over 70 ½, have you taken your required minimum distribution? Are you over 70 ½ and still working? If so, did you know that you may be able to contribute to a Roth IRA? This may be true even if you have to take RMDs from your traditional IRA.

For those of you who are still in savings mode, have you maximized your IRA, Roth IRA and 401k contributions? Did you take advantage of your employer’s matching contributions? Do you have any opportunity to convert traditional IRA assets into a Roth?

Everyone’s situation is unique, and we certainly advise you to speak with your financial advisor and/or tax professional before undertaking any of the year-end strategies we mention above. Mismanaging any of the above activities could do more bad than good, but getting them right can do a lot for your financial future.

All of the discussion above focuses on one major theme. Namely, your own actions—saving, spending, use of credit, ability to avoid the fear or euphoria of the moment, and many others—are likely to have a much higher impact on your future outcomes than any single investment or market cycle. Getting the big things right on a consistent basis matters a lot more than making a good market call or two. So, make your list, and check it twice. Don’t be naughty, and make your future nice.

From our family to yours, may your Holiday Season bring you joy, peace and meaning.

Blog Disclosure
Examples are hypothetical in nature and are for illustrative purposes only. HFG Wealth Management, LLC (“HFG”) is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of HFG or its affiliates. The information contained in any third-party resource cited herein, including but not limited to other blogs, websites or articles, is not owned or controlled by HFG, and HFG does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information that may be found in such resources. Links to any third-party resource are provided as a courtesy for reference only and are not intended to be, and do not act as, an endorsement by HFG of third party or any of its content or use of its content. The standard information provided in this article is for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as, or used as a substitute for, financial, investment, or other professional advice. If you have questions regarding your financial situation you should consult your financial planner, investment advisor, attorney or other professional. A copy of HFG’s current ADV Part 2A discussing HFG’s investment advisory and financial planning services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

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