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Need Inspiration? New Year’s Resolutions—Money Edition

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January 4, 2016

New Year’s resolutions—a much-debated tradition that draws equal numbers of fans (great time for a fresh start, goal-setting can pay off) and critics (too much pressure, focus is on fleeting-not-fixed goals).

So, what do some of the people who eat, sleep, and breathe money and markets think about when it comes to New Year’s resolutions that speak specifically to portfolios and pocketbooks?

We asked around the virtual water cooler at TD Ameritrade. Here’s a selection of what we heard:

John Bell, Director of Platform Management for Investment Products and Guidance
If eligible for a 401(k) or other employer-provided retirement plan, consider maximizing your contribution if at all possible, or up it by 1% every year until you maximize it. Most investors learn to live with the smaller paycheck while building a nest egg for retirement.

Melissa Witbeck, Guidance Sales Manager
Time is money, right? I will figure out why I really need six e-mail addresses. I will stick to my resolutions for more than a week. I will do less cooking this year.

Danielle Erickson, Tax Services Assistant Team Manager
I plan on spending more money making memories rather than acquiring new "things." 

Danny Treinen, Marketing Coordinator
My resolution is to add a greater percentage of my income to my Individual Retirement Account (IRA) in 2016. It gives me the potential to keep padding my future and my long-term wallet. Unfortunately, there will be less padding in my mattress.

Matt Sadowsky, Director of Retirement and Annuities
I don't have any resolutions, but one end-of-the year initiative I look at nearly every year is to sell one or two of my loser stocks in my individual brokerage account, use the loss to offset capital gains for tax reporting purposes, and use some of the cash from the sale to fund a non-deductible contribution to an IRA. I remind myself that any year I use this strategy, I will need to transact the sale before December 31 so that the loss is recognized in that tax year. And then I will make the IRA contribution at some point prior to the tax deadline the next year (so for tax year 2015, the deadline is April 18, 2016). Once the cash is in the account, I plan to reinvest it in the market.

Actually, I guess no one intends to pick loser stocks every year, but if (and when) I do, this is my strategy for making the best of it.

 

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