Author Topic: Spec ID vs Average cost in Roth IRA  (Read 1307 times)

droh82

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Spec ID vs Average cost in Roth IRA
« on: October 24, 2017, 12:11:46 PM »
I've been thinking about cost basis a lot lately. Specifically for a ROTH IRA account as I was about to contribute 5500 for this year.

Currently, I have VSTAX which vanguard only offers only average cost in roth ira. But I just learned that you can convert VSTAX to VTI ETF and i'm assuming it would allow me to choose Spec ID.

So I've been contemplating if this would be a good move. Generally I like to min/max as much as I can (even if it is a minimal gain). I like having more control of which shares I can sell but in a ROTH IRA  would this even matter?

Hoping someone should shed some light on stuff that I may not be aware of as far as advantages/disvantages?


droh82

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Re: Spec ID vs Average cost in Roth IRA
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2017, 06:44:58 PM »
I got some questions about average cost basis then just to see if i understand correctly.

Say for example..

Year 1 I buy 100 shares at $10
Year 2 I buy 100 shares at $20
Year 3 I buy 100 shares at $30
Year 4 I buy 100 shares at $40

Average cost basis is $25 a share correct?

Lets say one day i need $5000. On the day i sell, the share price is $35.
So i need to sell roughly 143 shares.

I'm assuming it sells shares from Year 1 and 2 first?

So after i sell those 143 shares. I'm left with 257 shares. Avg cost basis still $25?

Next 2 years i buy..
100 shares at $35
100 shares at $15

Is cost basis now $28.75??



MDM

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Re: Spec ID vs Average cost in Roth IRA
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2017, 07:55:31 PM »
I got some questions about average cost basis then just to see if i understand correctly.

Say for example..

Year 1 I buy 100 shares at $10
Year 2 I buy 100 shares at $20
Year 3 I buy 100 shares at $30
Year 4 I buy 100 shares at $40

Average cost basis is $25 a share correct?

Lets say one day i need $5000. On the day i sell, the share price is $35.
So i need to sell roughly 143 shares.

I'm assuming it sells shares from Year 1 and 2 first?
No, that's what it would do if you are using First In First Out.

Quote
So after i sell those 143 shares. I'm left with 257 shares. Avg cost basis still $25?
Yes, if using average cost.

Quote
Next 2 years i buy..
100 shares at $35
100 shares at $15

Is cost basis now $28.75??
No, it's still $25.  After buying the 100 shares at $35, it was $27.80.

See Cost basis methods available at Vanguard | Vanguard for more.

Back to that first sale of 143 shares.  Using average cost, your gain is 143 * ($35 - $25) = $1,430.  15% tax costs $214.50, so your net is 143 * $35 - $214.50 =  $4790.50.

If using SpecID, you could have chosen to sell the lot of 100 with $40 cost basis, plus 43 of the $30 basis.  Now you would have a 143 * 35 - (100 * $40 + 43 * $30) = $285 loss.  If your marginal rate for ordinary income is 25% (and you have no other capital gains or losses), this would save $71.25, giving you a net of 143 * $35 + $71.25 =  $5076.25.

droh82

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Re: Spec ID vs Average cost in Roth IRA
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2017, 01:07:34 PM »
Quote
Next 2 years i buy..
100 shares at $35
100 shares at $15

Is cost basis now $28.75??
No, it's still $25.  After buying the 100 shares at $35, it was $27.80.

See Cost basis methods available at Vanguard | Vanguard for more.

Back to that first sale of 143 shares.  Using average cost, your gain is 143 * ($35 - $25) = $1,430.  15% tax costs $214.50, so your net is 143 * $35 - $214.50 =  $4790.50.

If using SpecID, you could have chosen to sell the lot of 100 with $40 cost basis, plus 43 of the $30 basis.  Now you would have a 143 * 35 - (100 * $40 + 43 * $30) = $285 loss.  If your marginal rate for ordinary income is 25% (and you have no other capital gains or losses), this would save $71.25, giving you a net of 143 * $35 + $71.25 =  $5076.25.


Thanks i see where i messed up on the calculation for the avg cost basis senario.

Where did you get $71.25 in the Spec ID calculation?

MDM

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Re: Spec ID vs Average cost in Roth IRA
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2017, 01:25:52 PM »
Quote
Next 2 years i buy..
100 shares at $35
100 shares at $15

Is cost basis now $28.75??
No, it's still $25.  After buying the 100 shares at $35, it was $27.80.

See Cost basis methods available at Vanguard | Vanguard for more.

Back to that first sale of 143 shares.  Using average cost, your gain is 143 * ($35 - $25) = $1,430.  15% tax costs $214.50, so your net is 143 * $35 - $214.50 =  $4790.50.

If using SpecID, you could have chosen to sell the lot of 100 with $40 cost basis, plus 43 of the $30 basis.  Now you would have a 143 * 35 - (100 * $40 + 43 * $30) = $285 loss.  If your marginal rate for ordinary income is 25% (and you have no other capital gains or losses), this would save $71.25, giving you a net of 143 * $35 + $71.25 =  $5076.25.


Thanks i see where i messed up on the calculation for the avg cost basis senario.

Where did you get $71.25 in the Spec ID calculation?
The $285 loss (with the qualifiers given above) means you would pay $285 * 25% = $71.25 less in tax to the IRS.