Tax Loss Harvesting and Roth Conversions are two strategies that can help many of our Seacoast NH and North Shore MA clients make the best of a down year. 2022 has presented many challenges in the market such as inflation, interest rates, geopolitical conflict and lingering covid restrictions. As a result, we have seen bouts of volatility and ultimately negative year-to-date returns for both equity and fixed income indexes. While years like this can be tough to stomach, it is important to know they can also create opportunities that can be taken advantage of with prudent planning. During these years, many investors may elect to hold their investments and others may allocate to cash out of fear. It is certainly hard to criticize a buy-and-hold investment philosophy, but there may be some opportunities that investors are missing by taking this approach. Please read below about Tax Loss Harvesting and Roth Conversions, two strategies Seacoast Wealth Management of Steward Partners is implementing with clients to take advantage of down markets like we have seen so far in 2022.
Investors with taxable (non-qualified) investment accounts can implement a strategy called tax loss harvesting where a security is sold at a value less than what it was purchased for, creating a realized capital loss. These losses can be used to offset any realized capital gains you may have in your accounts this year – mitigating your tax bill. In a situation where an investor does not have any realized capital gains or the losses generated are in excess of capital gains during the year, investors can carry those losses forward to offset any potential gains in future years. While it may seem counterintuitive to sell a security at a loss, it can enhance the tax-efficiency of your portfolio which, in our view, is worthwhile to explore.
Traditional IRA assets are a cornerstone of many portfolios due to their accessibility and tax advantages. Some of these advantages are due to the fact they are funded with pre-tax dollars and in turn, are deducted from taxable income for that year. The assets will grow tax-deferred in the account and the distributions are taxed at ordinary income – penalty free if taken after age 59.5. In down years like we have seen in 2022, it may make sense to conduct a Roth IRA Conversion while the account value is suppressed. With this strategy, an investor can convert all or a portion of their traditional IRA into a Roth, paying ordinary income tax on the amount converted. The benefit of implementing this strategy would be to take advantage of the tax-deferred growth and tax-free distributions after age 59.5. On top of that, Roth IRA’s are not subject to Required Minimum distributions at age 72, allowing investments to grow tax-deferred over an investor’s lifetime.
***As financial advisors, we are not licensed to give tax advice, so we recommend consulting a tax advisor before implementing these strategies***
While this year’s market has presented challenges for even the most steadfast investors, there are also opportunities that have been created that are worth exploring. If you have not had the discussion on either of the above strategies or would like to know more, please reach out to us for a email@example.com for a no-cost consultation.
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