11th Hour Wealth Moves: Year-End Investment Strategies from a Wealth Advisor in Houston
Anything of value requires purposeful maintenance. Your car, home and other assets require their own unique forms of care. Your wealth and financial portfolio should be no different.
Review Your Portfolio as a Whole
Whether you need to make changes to your portfolio or not, reviewing your plan at least once a year is a wise idea. If no changes are needed, you can at least reassure yourself that you’re still on track to meeting your goals. If changes are needed, however, there’s no better time than now to address the issues.
Your investment portfolio is a major component of your financial plan, and your investments should be oriented with your goals in mind. Therefore, as part of your annual portfolio review, it’s important to confirm or to re-establish the underlying strategy behind your investments.
Have you had any life changes that could have affected your goals? Maybe a job change, a new addition to your family, a divorce or the loss of a loved one? Any of these events can certainly change how you look at your overall financial plan. They can affect your risk tolerance, risk requirements and ultimately, your investment decisions.
If you do anything at all to prepare your finances for 2022, review your plan, revisit your financial goals and talk with a wealth advisor if you have any questions.
One of the Two “Certainties” in Life: Consider Your Taxes
The new year will probably come with some tax changes. Do you understand how these changes will affect you?
There are many year-end strategies that can help minimize your tax bite, but the key is implementing them at the right time.
This time of year, many people are making their annual charitable donations, and in many cases, they miss out on opportunities to maximize the tax savings from their efforts.
For example, did you know that if you are 70-1/2 or older, you can make charitable donations directly from your IRA, and you won’t be taxed?
When money is withdrawn from a retirement account, it can trigger a taxable event. Normally, these funds are treated as “added income” for that year on your taxes. So, if you make a withdrawal, and then donate the money, you pay taxes on it before you pay it forward. However, if you are at least 70-½ years old and that money is sent directly from your retirement account to a qualified charity, the money is not taxed.
This is called a Qualified Charitable Donation (QCD), and it can be a great way to give money to charity, satisfy your annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) and save you from having to pay taxes.
Talk to a fiduciary financial advisor about your charitable giving plans.
Convert Your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA
Traditional IRAs are pre-tax retirement accounts, meaning the funds you deposit are deducted from your income and therefore, not taxed, until later withdrawn. Roth IRAs don’t have this tax benefit in the year of contribution, but the perks come later on, as 100% of all withdrawals in retirement are completely tax-free.
Many high net worth investors would appreciate the benefits that come with a Roth IRA, but don’t qualify due to income restrictions. If you make more than $206,000, you can’t contribute to a Roth IRA directly. A Roth conversion is a workaround.
Referred to as a Roth conversion, this strategy allows you to transfer money from a Traditional IRA into a Roth IRA regardless of income. However, a Roth conversion can result in a hefty tax bill in the year of conversion, so make sure you discuss this option in full with a wealth advisor you trust. It is important to “run the numbers” to be confident your down-the-road tax savings will more than offset the tax cost you incur in the year of the conversion.
Lemonade from lemons --Use Losses to Help Offset Gains
Experiencing positive returns on your investments is a wonderful thing. However, with gains come taxes. As you lock in your profits from selling your investments in specific accounts, look to see if there are any investments you hold that have lost value. Talk to a wealth advisor about using those losses to offset some of the taxes you’d pay on your capital gains and potentially reduce your ordinary income.
This can be a tricky balance. Before selling any investments in your portfolio, it’s wise to discuss your plans with a wealth advisor.
Set Goals for the New Year
When it comes to setting new financial goals, be as precise as possible. For the new year, try to quantify your financial goals. If your goal is to “catch up on my retirement planning,” expand on it. Maybe your actual goal is to “save $500 more a month in my 401(k).” Making the numbers as real as possible will make the benefits clear in your mind, and can help keep you motivated to make progress.
Get a Second Opinion
Working with an experienced wealth advisor can open the door to great wealth. If you are a DIY investor, speaking with a fiduciary financial advisor can help you fill in any gaps you have and help boost your finances. At Linscomb & Williams, our wealth advisors can make recommendations based on your risk tolerance and help coordinate different retirement strategies to ensure you maximize your savings efforts. Implementing a tailor-made financial plan that’s based on your personal needs and goals can make a huge difference. And what better way to start the new year, than with newfound financial confidence, and the groundwork for financial success?