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If I have a 401K, Roth IRA and also a personal brokerage account, should my portfolio differ? Trying to understand taxability implications. Rn, very heavy on VTI, VUG, etc. Thanks!

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I pretty much have the same allocation in both retirement and brokerage accounts: mostly US market index and some international. Only difference is that I hold the mutual fund version (e.g. VTSAX, FSKAX) in my retirement accounts and the ETF version (e.g. VTI) in my brokerage account. ETFs are slightly more tax efficient, so they make more sense in the brokerage account. Although I think vanguard has some kind of patent (soon to expire) on their mutual funds to avoid taxes.

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Another thing to add is that if you're going to play around with individual stocks, I'd do that in the brokerage account. You can deduct losses in the brokerage account but not the retirement accounts.

smart

I'm in the same boat and have target date fund in my 401k, then only VTI in my Roth and mostly in my personal brokerage (and a few lottery ticket biotech stocks.) From a taxability standpoint, there's rationale to being aggressive in your Roth and making more frequent trades since it will grow tax free. I don't really trust myself to make good picks so I haven't been and have just been parking my money in VTI with dividend reinvestment. If I had time to do more research though I might be inclined to trade more actively in it.

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Not sure i agree. Since you can’t deduct more than $3k/year in capital losses against your income then the only other losses you would be able to deduct would be those within the account you’re trading (in which case it’s not really a benefit) or for dividends or other non-equity forms of income. Otherwise your taxable loss deductions are capped at $3k, whereas your taxable capital gains have no upper limit if they’re in a non-advantaged account. It will inevitably come down to your overall wealth portfolio though, there may be scenarios where you’re right.

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If you have the availability of an HSA, you should look into that also. VTI VUG are perfectly fine choices. You may want to add some VXUS also to diversify if you want. Do you have specific questions about taxes?

helpful

I wish I had an HSA! I only can make an FSA account, not eligible for HSA. I guess what I’m trying to understand is whether what I purchase in my tax-advantaged accounts should be different form what I purchase in my taxable personal brokerage account? Let’s say I want to dabble in a bit of VXUS, SCHG, maybe some low stakes stocks etc.

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