Author Topic: How to access bonds/emergency fund in a tax-advantaged account  (Read 1076 times)

Dodge

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How to access bonds/emergency fund in a tax-advantaged account
« on: November 19, 2014, 09:19:26 PM »
Just came across an interesting wiki page on the Bogleheads site:

Placing cash needs in a tax-advantaged account

In their example they use an emergency fund, I modified it a bit.  Suppose you had $100,000 in your portfolio with $20,000 in bonds. Then the stock market crashes 50%, you lose your job, and you need to withdraw $10,000.  Your portfolio now looks like this:

Taxable:
  • $20,000 stock index fund
Tax-advantaged account, such as 401(k):
  • $20,000 stock index fund
  • $20,000 bond index fund
To avoid selling stocks low, you can sell $10,000 from the stock index fund in your taxable account and exchange the bond fund for similar stock funds in your tax-advantaged account. Now your portfolio looks like this:

Taxable:
  • $10,000 stock index fund
Tax-advantaged account, such as 401(k):
  • $30,000 stock index fund
  • $10,000 bond index fund
Notice you still have $40,000 in stocks, didn't have to sell low, and if you do it right you can tax loss harvest $20,000.