Published: Wed, 05 Aug 2020 15:58:23 +0000
Market Blog This isn’t like any recession we’ve ever seen, as it was sparked by a horrible pandemic and happened because people were told to stay inside. The impact was the worst contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) last quarter … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 05 Aug 2020 15:26:10 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened higher. US stock markets opened in the green, with the Nasdaq reaching its 30th new record high of 2020. Investors are focusing on positive earnings reports, developments on the COVID-19 relief bill, vaccine progress, and jobs … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 15:57:52 +0000
Economic Blog The 10-year Treasury yield is historically low, so low that it could climb a full 1% before the end of the year and still be the lowest year-end yield on record, with room to spare. Historically low rates … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 04 Aug 2020 14:58:57 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened slightly lower. The S&P 500 Index is down slightly in early trading on a quiet day for economic data. Tuesday, market participants will focus on stimulus talks in Washington, United States and China tensions, earnings season, … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 03 Aug 2020 15:58:17 +0000
Market Blog 2020 has been historic and devastating in many ways, from the fastest bear market ever, to one of the greatest stock market recoveries ever. Not to mention a historic drop in the economy in the second quarter, with … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 03 Aug 2020 14:58:40 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks start the week on a positive note. The S&P 500 Index is set to open higher this morning to kick off August, a month that historically has been one of its weakest, after a strong 5.5% gain … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 20:01:15 +0000
Market Blog Index Performance S&P 500 Index: 1.7% Dow Jones Industrial Average: -.2% Nasdaq Composite: 3.7% Equities This week was another mixed week for the markets, as large cap growth earnings powered tech behemoths and the Nasdaq to more than … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 15:57:58 +0000
Market Blog Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. These five stocks have helped spawn a number of acronyms as they try to capture the rise of mega-cap tech stocks that have led the market higher for much of the past … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 31 Jul 2020 14:58:13 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Tech stocks fuel gains to end week. The S&P 500 Index is marginally higher in early trading, as large cap growth stocks fuel gains in the technology, consumer discretionary, and communication services sectors. Asian markets were mostly lower, … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 30 Jul 2020 17:45:13 +0000
Economic Blog The best thing we can say about today’s US gross domestic product (GDP) report for the second quarter is that it’s behind us. GDP contracted at a 32.9% annualized rate during the quarter, the largest decline on record. … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 30 Jul 2020 15:58:17 +0000
Economic Blog The Federal Reserve (Fed) completed its latest two-day policy meeting Wednesday, July 29, and the primary message coming from the world’s most important central bank was a continued commitment to supporting the economy as long as it’s needed—and … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 30 Jul 2020 14:59:52 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened lower on big news day. Futures were already lower ahead of the historic gross domestic product (GDP) report and jobless claims data and those data points didn’t change the picture much. Asian markets were modestly lower … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 15:56:41 +0000
Market Blog “An object in motion tends to remain in motion along a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” Sir Isaac Newton Last September, we noted that gold had many structural reasons to soar. Well, soar it … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 15:03:11 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Markets showing resilience. After finishing near their lowest trading levels Tuesday, US markets opened higher this morning. Investors are gauging the wide differences between Republicans and Democrats on the next fiscal stimulus package given the present economic climate. … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 15:57:37 +0000
Economic Blog After carving out the first part of a “V-shaped” recovery, the US economy has leveled off somewhat in response to the latest wave of COVID-19 infections. In this week’s Weekly Market Commentary: Stalling Economic Recovery May Slow Stock … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 15:00:09 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS S&P 500 slightly lower with stimulus, virus in focus. The S&P 500 Index is slightly lower early today as market participants continue to assess stimulus progress, COVID-19 case growth, and earnings. The S&P 500 climbed 0.7% Monday as … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 27 Jul 2020 15:57:36 +0000
Market Blog “That’s not a knife … that’s a knife!” Paul Hogan in Crocodile Dundee There is growing talk that growth stocks and specifically technology stocks are in a bubble. But as Paul Hogan showed is in the classic 1986 … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 27 Jul 2020 14:57:53 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened higher. After ending last week on a down note and seeing its three-week win streak snapped, the S&P 500 Index is in the green in early trading this morning. Markets are awaiting the release of the … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 20:02:13 +0000
Market Blog Index Performance S&P 500 Index: -0.3% Dow Jones Industrial Average: -0.8% Nasdaq Composite: -1.3% Equities Large cap US equities pulled back modestly this week, as technology-oriented stocks paused for the second consecutive week. The Nasdaq fell more than … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 15:58:22 +0000
Leading economic indicators continued to rebound in June, albeit at a slightly slower pace than in May. Yesterday, The Conference Board released its June report detailing the latest reading for its Leading Economic Index (LEI), a composite of data series … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 14:59:02 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Down again. US stocks opened lower following Thursday’s broad weakness. Caution is in the air, as China retaliated by shutting down the US consulate in Chengdu. Asian markets were down significantly on the news. European markets are firmly … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 23 Jul 2020 16:00:01 +0000
Economic Blog The US dollar was remarkably strong during the first quarter of 2020, benefitting from the flight to safety and rallying to nearly a 10% year-to-date gain at the stock market’s low point on March 23. However, as equity … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 23 Jul 2020 14:59:17 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks opened little changed. The S&P 500 Index is trying for its sixth straight positive session as mostly well-received earnings results and optimism that the next big stimulus package out of Washington, DC, will soon be secured are … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 17:57:47 +0000
Market Blog LPL Research released our Midyear Outlook 2020 last week, discussing the path of the eventual economic and market recovery. What makes this year so incredible is, as of July 21, the S&P 500 Index moved positive for the … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 22 Jul 2020 14:59:15 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Mixed markets. US stocks opened mixed, as Tuesday the S&P 500 Index moved to its highest level since February. Caution is in the air as the United States ordered China to close its consulate in Houston, fueling potential … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:58:12 +0000
Economic Blog While the 10-year Treasury yield has traded in a narrow range since early April, the equivalent real yield, represented by the yield on 10-year Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS), has continued to fall and could go lower. Real yields … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 21 Jul 2020 15:02:04 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stimulus, vaccine optimism supporting gains in global stocks. Most major international indexes extended Monday’s US gains overnight as investors digest Europe’s approximately $850 billion fiscal stimulus package and continued positive news on vaccine progress. Tech-related stocks led yesterday’s … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 20 Jul 2020 14:57:05 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS US stocks opened little changed. The S&P 500 Index, which ended last week fractionally shy of positive territory year to date, will try to continue its three-week win streak as markets focus on flattening the COVID-19 curve, vaccine … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 20:01:35 +0000
Market Blog Index Performance S&P 500 Index: 1.3 % Dow Jones Industrial Average: 2.3 % Nasdaq Composite: -1.1 % Equities US equities delivered modest gains this week, with indexes representing both the midcap and small cap spaces faring best. Both the S&P … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 16:00:25 +0000
Economic Blog Retail sales data for June was reported on Thursday, handily beating expectations for the second consecutive month. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, June saw a 7.5% increase month over month, compared with Bloomberg’s consensus … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 14:56:45 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS Stocks steady heading into weekend. US stocks are near flat in early trading, as investors continue to digest earnings, including a poorly received report from Netflix, which is down nearly 10%. Major US indexes are tracking toward modest … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 15:59:45 +0000
Economic Blog The gradual reopening of the US economy has started to lift Main Street sentiment from depressed levels, according to the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) Beige Book. Despite growing concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in several pockets of the country, … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 16 Jul 2020 15:58:41 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS US stocks opened lower. Markets are giving back some of Wednesday’s rally this morning following losses in China overnight and amid ongoing concerns about COVID-19 hotspots. In the United States, markets will watch earnings reports, retail sales, and … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 15:57:51 +0000
Economic Blog We check in again today on some of the real-time economic data that LPL Research is monitoring to provide insight into how the latest increase in COVID-19 cases and the rollback of certain reopening measures are affecting the … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:56:03 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS US markets rallying on positive vaccine buzz. The S&P 500 Index is set to add to Tuesday’s solid gains after positive early-phase trial results for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine took some of the sting out of the recent surge … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 15 Jul 2020 14:27:21 +0000
Market Blog Based on the latest polling data, there’s growing consensus that former Vice President Joe Biden potentially may win the election and Democrats possibly may sweep Congress. Some might think this could be a negative for stocks, as a … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 19:32:32 +0000
Economic Blog After pulling back in the first quarter of 2020, flows into bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) dominated stocks in the second quarter. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the second quarter is consistent … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 14 Jul 2020 14:59:09 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS US stocks look to rebound from Monday’s up and down day. US markets are near flat early as market participants weigh the significance of the economy likely turning the corner over the second half of the year against … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 16:47:24 +0000
Market Blog Here at the midpoint of 2020, we recognize that’s it’s been a very challenging year so far in the United States and around the world. Our team is here to help you navigate this environment. LPL Research’s Midyear … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 15:01:30 +0000
DAILY INSIGHTS U.S. stocks opened higher. US stocks continue to shrug off rising COVID-19 cases as markets focus on the strength in stay-at-home stocks (mostly technology), optimism around virus treatments, and Americans’ will to avoid locking down again. The S&P … Continue reading →
An individual retirement arrangement (IRA) is a personal savings plan that offers specific tax benefits. IRAs are one of the most powerful retirement savings tools available to you. Even if you're contributing to a 401(k) or other plan at work, you may want to consider investing in an IRA.
The two major types of IRAs are traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Both allow you to contribute as much as $6,000 in 2020 (unchanged from 2019), but you must have at least as much taxable compensation as the amount of your IRA contribution. If you are married filing jointly, your spouse can also contribute to an IRA, even if he or she does not have taxable compensation. The law also allows taxpayers age 50 and older to make additional "catch-up" contributions. These folks can contribute an additional $1,000 in 2020 (unchanged from 2019).
Both traditional and Roth IRAs feature tax-sheltered growth of earnings. And both give you a wide range of investment choices. However, there are important differences between these two types of IRAs. Understanding these differences is key to choosing the type of IRA that may be appropriate for you.
Note: Special rules apply to certain reservists and national guardsmen called to active duty after September 11, 2001..
Practically anyone can open and contribute to a traditional IRA. The only requirement is that you must have taxable compensation (prior to December 31, 2019, you also had to be under age 70½). You can contribute the maximum allowed each year as long as your taxable compensation for the year is at least that amount. If your taxable compensation for the year is below the maximum contribution allowed, you can contribute only up to the amount that you earned.
Your contributions to a traditional IRA may be tax deductible on your federal income tax return. This is important because tax-deductible (pre-tax) contributions lower your taxable income for the year, saving you money in taxes. If neither you nor your spouse is covered by a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan, you can generally deduct the full amount of your annual contribution. If one of you is covered by such a plan, your ability to deduct your contributions depends on your annual income (modified adjusted gross income, or MAGI) and your income tax filing status.
For 2020, if you are covered by a retirement plan at work and:
For 2020, if you are not covered by a retirement plan at work, but your spouse is, and you file a joint tax return, your traditional IRA contribution is fully deductible if your MAGI is $196,000 or less. Your deduction is reduced if your MAGI is more than $196,000 and less than $206,000, and you can't deduct your contribution at all if your MAGI is $206,000 or more.
What happens when you start taking money from your traditional IRA? Any portion of a distribution that represents deductible contributions is subject to income tax because those contributions were not taxed when you made them. Any portion that represents investment earnings is also subject to income tax because those earnings were not previously taxed either. Only the portion that represents nondeductible, after-tax contributions (if any) is not subject to income tax. In addition to income tax, you may have to pay a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you're under age 59½, unless you meet one of the exceptions.
If you wish to defer taxes, you can leave your 1 of the year following the year you reach age 72. That's when you have to take your first required minimum distribution from the IRA. After that, you must take a distribution by the end of every calendar year until you die or your funds are exhausted. The annual distribution amounts are based on a standard life expectancy table and your previous year-end combined account balances. You can always withdraw more than you're required to in any year. However, if you withdraw less, you'll be hit with a 50% penalty on the difference between the required minimum and the amount you actually withdrew. (Note: if you reached age 70½ in 2019, you must begin taking required minimum distributions by April 1, 2020.)
If you are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan and your MAGI exceeds certain
established thresholds, your deduction for your traditional IRA contribution is reduced or
eliminated as follows:
* If you're not covered by an employer plan, but your spouse is, your deduction is limited if your MAGI is $193,000 to $203,000, and eliminated if your MAGI exceeds $203,000.
Not everyone can set up a Roth IRA. Even if you can, you may not qualify to take full advantage of it. The first requirement is that you must have taxable compensation. If your taxable compensation in 2020 is at least $6,000, you may be able to contribute the full amount. But it gets more complicated. Your ability to contribute to a Roth IRA in any year depends on your MAGI and your income tax filing status.
Qualified distributions will also avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty. This ability to withdraw your funds with no taxes or penalties is a key strength of the Roth IRA. And remember, even nonqualified distributions will be taxed (and possibly penalized) only on the investment earnings portion of the distribution, and then only to the extent that your distribution exceeds the total amount of all contributions that you have made.
Another advantage of the Roth IRA is that there are no required distributions after age 72 or at any time during your life. You can put off taking distributions until you really need the income. Or, you can leave the entire balance to your beneficiary without ever taking a single distribution.*
These income ranges (other than married filing separately) are indexed for inflation each year.
Assuming you qualify to use both, which type of IRA is best for you? Sometimes the choice is easy. The Roth IRA will probably be a more effective tool if you don't qualify for tax deductible contributions to a traditional IRA. However, if you can deduct your traditional IRA contributions, the choice is more difficult. Most professionals believe that a Roth IRA will still give you more bang for your dollars in the long run, but it depends on your personal goals and circumstances. The Roth IRA may very well make more sense if you want to minimize taxes during retirement and preserve assets for your beneficiaries. But a traditional deductible IRA may be a better tool if you want to lower your yearly tax bill while you're still working (and probably in a higher tax bracket than you'll be in after you retire). A financial professional or tax advisor can help you pick the right type of IRA for you.
Note: You can have both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA, but your total annual contribution to all of the IRAs that you own cannot be more than $6,000 in 2020 ($7,000 if you're age 50 or older).
You can move funds from an IRA to the same type of IRA with a different institution (e.g., traditional to traditional, Roth to Roth). No taxes or penalty will be imposed if you arrange for the old IRA trustee to transfer your funds directly to the new IRA trustee. The other option is to have your funds distributed to you first and then roll them over to the new IRA trustee yourself. You'll still avoid taxes and penalty as long as you complete the rollover within 60 days from the date you receive the funds.
You may also be able to convert funds from a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA. This decision is complicated, however, so be sure to consult a tax advisor. He or she can help you weigh the benefits of shifting funds against the tax consequences and other drawbacks.
Note: The IRS has the authority to waive the 60-day rule for rollovers under certain limited circumstances, such as proven hardship.
To claim the credit, you must be at least 18 years old and not a full-time student or a dependent
on another taxpayer's return. The credit is in addition to any income tax deduction you might
qualify for with respect to your IRA contribution. The amount of the credit is 50%, 20%, or 10% of
your IRA or retirement plan contributions up to $2,000 ($4,000 if married filing jointly), depending
on your MAGI. Here are the credit rates based on 2020 MAGI limits:
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