Published: Tue, 19 Jan 2021 17:10:21 +0000
Economic Blog 1/19/2021 Investment-grade credit spreads, the extra yield you get from investment-grade corporate bonds compared to similarly dated US Treasuries, have already tightened to a level you usually only see during the middle of the economic cycle—and that can … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 19 Jan 2021 16:00:42 +0000
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Top Story Market Signals Covers It All This week’s Market Signals podcast covers all the latest events impacting markets and the economy: Q4 earnings, a new stimulus proposal, the Democratic blue wave, and President-elect Joe Biden’s … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 15 Jan 2021 21:12:53 +0000
Market Blog January 15, 2021 Index Performance US and International Equities The major market indexes finished the week lower. In addition, many international markets followed in lockstep with their US counterparts. Emerging markets (MSCI EM Index) outperformed developed international markets … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:00:19 +0000
Economic Blog January 15, 2021 One of the top questions we’ve received recently has been what a blue wave may mean for investments. After the Democrats won the two Senate runoff elections in Georgia, they will now control the White … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 15 Jan 2021 16:00:02 +0000
Friday, January 15, 2021 Top Story Retail Sales Worse Than Expected Retail sales in the United States declined 0.7% month over month in December, below all but two of the 70 forecasts in Bloomberg’s consensus survey (US Census Bureau). The … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 14 Jan 2021 17:25:56 +0000
Market Blog January 14, 2021 Heading into 2020, we maintained our preference for growth stocks as we believed that earnings growth would become harder to come by as the economic cycle aged, and their robust earnings growth was greatly appealing. … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 14 Jan 2021 16:00:27 +0000
Thursday, January 14, 2021 Top Story New Street View Video Sets Positive Tone The stock market has started off 2021 surprisingly well, and LPL Research Chief Market Strategist Ryan Detrick says this bull market is alive and well. “Surprises to … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 13 Jan 2021 17:00:38 +0000
Economic Blog 1/13/21 Rising COVID-19 cases and concern about the policy environment put a dent in small business optimism in the month of December, the index’s second straight monthly decline. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 13 Jan 2021 16:00:57 +0000
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 Top Story Consumer prices in line with forecasts Consumer inflation for December, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), grew 0.4% month over month, buoyed by higher gasoline prices. Core inflation, excluding food and energy prices, … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 12 Jan 2021 17:00:41 +0000
Economic Blog 1/12/2021 Treasury yields hit two key levels the first week of 2021. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the 10-year Treasury yield moved above 1% for the first time since March 2020, and the 10-year … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 12 Jan 2021 16:00:55 +0000
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 Top Story 2021 Policies Update and the Markets In this week’s Market Signals podcast and video, LPL Research talks about 2021 policy updates and the possibilities of higher taxes and more regulation, more stimulus, higher Treasury … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 11 Jan 2021 16:00:53 +0000
Monday, January 11, 2021 Top Story Stocks open modestly lower as investors reassess risk sentiment. The US dollar traded higher with demand supported by higher Treasury European stocks pulled back from a 10-month high in midday trading as Germany underperforms. … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 08 Jan 2021 21:00:11 +0000
Market Blog January 8, 2021 Index Performance View enlarged chart. US and International Equities This week, we gained clarity on the makeup of Congress with the Georgia US Senate runoff. Democrats will now have control of both chambers of Congress, … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 08 Jan 2021 17:00:59 +0000
Economic Blog 1/8/2021 The differences in strength between the stock market and real economy were laid bare this week as the stock market surged to new highs while the jobs market continued to deteriorate and remains well short of its … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 08 Jan 2021 16:00:05 +0000
Friday, January 8, 2021 Top Story Jobs Growth Turns Negative The US economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, missing Bloomberg survey estimates of a 50,000 gain. This represents the first monthly loss … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 07 Jan 2021 18:19:52 +0000
Markets Blog 1/07/21 2020 was a good year for stock investors despite unprecedented challenges. After being down more than 30% at the March 2020 lows, the S&P 500 Index ended the year with a solid 18.4% total return. Last year … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 07 Jan 2021 16:23:11 +0000
Thursday, January 7, 2021 Top Story LPL Research Condemns Violence in Washington, DC LPL Research condemns the violent actions at the US Capitol Building on Wednesday and hopes for healing in our nation’s political and societal divides. We fully support … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 06 Jan 2021 17:00:50 +0000
Market Blog January 6, 2021 Well, we can officially say goodbye to 2020. Although there still will be many challenges in 2021, we do see much better times ahead. Just how amazing was it? “2020 will go down in history … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 06 Jan 2021 16:00:44 +0000
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 Top Story 2020 in 20 Charts 2020 was a historic year in many ways, which made it hard to highlight just a few charts. So in honor of 2020, we picked 20 charts that show how … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 05 Jan 2021 18:18:28 +0000
Economic Blog 1/5/2021 US investment-grade bonds had a solid 2020 despite a tumultuous year overall. The broad Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index had a total return of 7.5%—not as strong as 2019’s 8.7% but its fifth-best year in the … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 05 Jan 2021 15:57:24 +0000
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 Top Story 10 Lessons LPL Research Learned in 2020 LPL Research reviews its top 10 takeaways from 2020, the year-end Santa Claus Rally, and what the markets are saying about the Georgia runoffs in this week’s … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 04 Jan 2021 17:46:29 +0000
Market Blog View enlarged table. US and International Equities The S&P 500 Index, Dow Jones Industrial, and Nasdaq Composite indexes, continued their November run in December. As noted last month, November was a record-breaking month for equities, thanks to … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 04 Jan 2021 16:42:25 +0000
Monday, January 4, 2021 Daily Insights Markets start the New Year higher. US markets continue their trek higher following last year’s nine-month rally. Market participants appear optimistic for a better 2021 in the wake of COVID-19 vaccine progress and December’s … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 31 Dec 2020 21:02:00 +0000
Market Blog 12/31/2020 US and International Equities As we finish out a challenging year this week, Congress passed COVID-19 relief, providing increased unemployment benefits, small business assistance, along with an additional $600 stimulus payment. In addition, Congress is presently in … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 31 Dec 2020 16:00:51 +0000
Thursday, December 31, 2020 Happy New Year to all from LPL Research! We made it through a very challenging 2020. Have a happy, healthy, and safe 2021. Top Story What a big end of year rally means. The S&P 500 … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 31 Dec 2020 13:00:51 +0000
Market Blog 12/31/2020 Welcome to the last day of 2020! It has been a devastating year in so many ways, yet for investors it has been quite rewarding. Much of the gains in 2020 have taken place the final two … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 30 Dec 2020 17:00:47 +0000
Economic Blog 12/30/20 For many economic data series, 2020 has been a roller coaster. Not for housing, however. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures jump-started the “nesting” behavioral shift away from urban apartments and into single-family … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 30 Dec 2020 16:00:31 +0000
Wednesday, December 30, 2020 Top Story Home prices continue to climb. While some industries continue to struggle during the pandemic, housing data in the United States (US) remains a strong point of the US economy. Standard & Poor’s 20-city composite … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 29 Dec 2020 17:54:05 +0000
Economic Blog 12/29/2020 2020 was an extraordinary year for the Federal Reserve (Fed). The Fed responded swiftly and decisively to the rapidly accelerating financial and economic uncertainty brought on by efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The current Fed was … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 29 Dec 2020 16:00:03 +0000
Tuesday, December 29, 2020 Top Story Lessons learned from the Fed in 2020. The Federal Reserve (Fed) will remain in focus for markets in 2021. “Don’t fight the Fed” seems like obvious investor guidance in hindsight, but it didn’t in … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 28 Dec 2020 16:00:31 +0000
Monday, December 28, 2020 Top Story Solid holiday shopping season. Holiday sales grew 3%, beating forecasts for a 2.4% increase according to MasterCard’s SpendingPulse. Online sales rose 49% year over year. These results were impressive for a recessionary period—the comparable … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 24 Dec 2020 17:28:26 +0000
Market Blog 12/24/2020 Data is as of 11:15 AM ET View enlarged chart. US and International Equities This week, concerns about a new COVID-19 strain in the United Kingdom along with new lockdown restrictions have weighed on the markets even … Continue reading →
Published: Thu, 24 Dec 2020 16:00:25 +0000
Thursday, December 24, 2020 Top Story Markets Close Early Today The NYSE and NASDAQ will close at 1 p.m. ET today. The bond markets will close at 2 p.m. ET. All markets will be closed Friday, December 25, and will … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 23 Dec 2020 16:16:32 +0000
Wednesday, December 23, 2020 Top Story Jobless Claims Beat Weekly jobless claims halted their recent skid as 803,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance according to the US Department of Labor, ahead of Bloomberg consensus estimates of 880,000. Continuing claims also … Continue reading →
Published: Wed, 23 Dec 2020 15:17:21 +0000
Market Blog 12/23/20 “If Santa should fail to call, bears may come to Broad and Wall.” —Yale Hirsh December is widely known as one of the best months of the year for stocks, but most don’t realize that the majority … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 22 Dec 2020 19:54:06 +0000
Economic Blog 12/22/2020 With concern about inflation rising for some investors, we’ve started to receive questions about Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, or TIPS. With TIPS, the principal of the bond, the part that’s paid back when the bond matures, is adjusted … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 22 Dec 2020 19:43:39 +0000
Economic Blog 12/22/2020 Brexit, the United Kingdom’s (UK) withdrawal from the European Union (EU), is making news again as it stumbles toward its apparent conclusion on December 31, 2020. The major sticking point now: fish. The UK officially left the … Continue reading →
Published: Tue, 22 Dec 2020 16:00:35 +0000
Tuesday, December 22, 2020 Top Story Stimulus Bridges to Recovery Recent economic data shows evidence of slowing momentum in the US economy, but the new stimulus package could keep the recovery moving forward. This week’s Market Signals podcast reviews the … Continue reading →
Published: Mon, 21 Dec 2020 16:00:36 +0000
Monday, December 21, 2020 Top Story Stocks Open Lower The S&P 500 Index opened roughly 1.5% lower, while the tech-focused NASDAQ fared better. Stocks are responding to more curbs to contain the spread of COVID-19 and bucking a tailwind created … Continue reading →
Published: Fri, 18 Dec 2020 21:00:40 +0000
Market Blog 12/18/20 View enlarged chart. US and International Equities The major market indexes reversed course from last week to finish this week higher. The tech-laded Nasdaq composite was the bright spot, returning 3% this week. So far, the Nasdaq … 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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