Even up to the tax filing deadline for the prior year, it is still possible to make contributions to individual retirement arrangement (IRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) for that year. For 2017, this means you have until April 17, 2018 to contribute.

On the other hand, 401(k) and 403(b) accounts must be made through employer payroll deductions, so you cannot go back and contribute for the prior year to receive the tax advantages. You can go through your employer’s HR or payroll department to start making contributions on your next paycheck, however.

If you have received a windfall (e.g., a tax refund!) or just learned about retirement accounts, you can make retirement contributions for the prior year in January–April of the next year. Typically, you would want to max our your IRA first and then your HSA.

Read More

Today, February 5, 2018 we saw a large decline of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other stock market indices.

DJIA drop on 2/05/2018

Although the stock market has had phenomenal gains since 2009, and especially in the past year, we are seeing a temporary decline that, in the past week, has erased the past two months of market gains.

Having a bias toward action is helpful in many areas of life, but investing is one area where inaction wins. In fact, investors who have died or simply have forgotten about their investments have results superior to the typical investor. The typical investor buys high, sells low, and then has fear of missing out (FOMO) and buys back in when the market is high again. The present “crash” spurs typical investors to sell, supposedly to prevent further losses. The typical investor’s behavior looks something like this:

Read More