Year end tax moves and my thoughts on personal finance and investing

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Some friends asked me about the year end tax moves, such as the tax loss selling etc. Here is a good article on the topic – Tax-Loss Harvesting: What It Is, How It Works. My take on tax: this is at least secondary maybe even more down the priority list. The No. 1 priority in the personal finance/investing is don’t lose your money. Ideally we don’t want any type of loss. Tax loss is applicable only after we lose the money during investing. If we don’t have loss in the 1st place, would it be better?

But I do appreciate the mindset of 亡羊补牢。Or salvage whatever we can (not exact translation).

Another question is what to contribute if we need to contribute to the regular IRA account. The latter is an easier question. The deadline to fund IRA is actually usually the tax day (the middle of April), so we still have time. As to investments, I only recommend the S&P 500 index funds and I explained it more here.

The 529 plans I setup for my girls

I have a fairly small 529 plan for my girls, which I started shortly after they were born (see my blog post one, blog post two, and blog post three).

With the enhancement of the 529 plans by the law passed by congress in the recent years, it becomes a tool for retirement as well. Read this for more details.

The thing I taught my 13 year old the other day, is the 12/6 compounded interest rule (snowball effect), an investment that grows 12% annually, in 6 years it will double. From 2010 to 2023, since I invested in S&P 500 index fund, and the S&P 500 index did well since 2010, the money I put in quadrupled. It was a small amount of money. But the compounded interest concept is important and we saw it in action.

Another thing many working people can consider is the HSA account. I heard it has even more benefits for retirement compared to the 529. So something to read about, think about and do something about 🙂

My free tips on PF and investing

Like many good things in life, don’t rush it. Take the time, savor the moment, think it through, before jump into the market and make big moves: Rome is NOT built in a day. So was the business empire such as Berkshire Hathaway, or the GPU, AI chip designer nVidia. They are built in decades.

Hindsight is 20/20

Look at the about 1,137% or 11 times gain of $CVNA. Below is the YTD chart of Carvana vs CarMax ($KMX), Tesla ($TSLA) and S&P 500 index. But the million dollar question is: who bought and hold the $CVNA this year (until today)?

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