The stock market crash of 1987. The tech bubble in the early-2000s. The financial crisis of 2008. And now, the coronavirus pandemic.
What do all of these things have in common? They all involve sharp market downturns that end a bull market and trigger a bear market. For many investors, these events create anxiety and worry about the long-term ramifications.
These events all share something else in common. They offer potential opportunities.
In a difficult time like this, it can be hard to see opportunities, but they do exist. Of course, not all opportunities are right for everyone. Your strategy and decisions should be based on your specific needs, goals, and risks.
However, it’s possible that you could take action today to improve your financial future. Below are three examples of potential opportunities. A financial professional can help you determine the right course of action for your long-term strategy.
If you have seen your portfolio suffer since late February, you are not alone. As recently as early February, we were still enjoying a strong economy. Between Friday, February 21, and Tuesday, March 16, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 35.87%. Since that low point, the market has recovered somewhat. However, the DJIA is still down 16.4% year-to-date.¹
If you are considering a change in strategy, you also may be able to take advantage of a potential tax deduction. A change in allocation may require you to sell assets that have declined in value. While realizing a loss is never a good outcome, you could qualify for a tax-loss deduction.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should realize losses simply for the tax deduction. Your decision should be guided by your long-term goals. A financial professional can help you determine how best to move forward.
Roth IRA Conversion
Do you hold a significant amount of retirement assets in a traditional IRA? One of the benefits of a traditional IRA is that you realize an upfront deduction for contributions. However, that also means that your future distributions are taxable as income.
You may prefer to use a Roth IRA, which allows you to take tax-free withdrawals in retirement, assuming you are 59 ½ or older, and the account is at least five years old. You can convert your traditional IRA into a Roth, and now could be the time to do so.
When you convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, you pay income taxes on the converted amount. If you have seen a decline in your IRA over the past couple of months, you now have a reduced balance. That means the tax exposure from conversion would be lower today than it was two months ago.
It’s also possible that, like millions of Americans, you have been laid off, furloughed, or that you have accepted a pay cut. It’s possible that your income for 2020 will be lower than it has been in years past, which means you may be in a lower tax rate. Again, this could reduce your tax exposure in a Roth conversion.
Roth conversions aren’t right for everyone. However, if you have been considering one, this may be the right time.
Investing at Discounted Prices
It’s never a good idea to try and predict the market’s direction, especially in the short-term. Investment decisions should always be guided by long-term strategy and specific goals and needs.
However, there is no denying the fact that many assets are currently trading at prices substantially reduced from two months ago. If you have cash available to invest and have the risk tolerance to withstand potential volatility, this could be a good time to revisit your strategy.
It’s always wise to hold six to twelve months in liquid, risk-free emergency reserves, even if those accounts pay very little in interest. However, if you have other funds that aren’t needed for emergency reserves, you may want to consider how best to use them in the long-term. Investing at discounted prices may allow you to more fully participate in a future recovery.
As always, your decisions should be based on your unique needs, not generalized advice. Let’s talk about it and implement the right strategy for your goals. Contact us today at Heritage Financial North. We can help you analyze your needs and goals and find the right opportunities. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.
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