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Taxable and Tax-Deferred Investing: A Tax-Arbitrage Approach

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  • Jennifer Huang

Abstract

We analyze an intertemporal portfolio problem with both taxable and tax-deferred retirement accounts. Using a tax-arbitrage argument, we identify conditions under which the optimal location decision (where to place an asset) is separable from the allocation decision (how much to allocate to each asset). Investors place highly taxed assets in the tax-deferred account to maximize the tax benefit and adjust their taxable portfolios to achieve the optimal risk exposure. We show that the two-account problem can be reduced to a taxable-account-only problem. The results are robust to capital gains tax deferrals, consumption and contribution decisions, and stochastic tax rates. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Huang, 2008. "Taxable and Tax-Deferred Investing: A Tax-Arbitrage Approach," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(5), pages 2173-2207, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:21:y:2008:i:5:p:2173-2207
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhn064
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob, Martin & Johan, Sofia & Schweizer, Denis & Zhan, Feng, 2016. "Corporate finance and the governance implications of removing government support programs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 35-47.
    2. Kristian Rydqvist & Joshua Spizman & Ilya A. Strebulaev, 2011. "Government Policy and Ownership of Financial Assets," NBER Working Papers 17522, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Huang, Huaxiong & Milevsky, Moshe A., 2016. "Longevity risk and retirement income tax efficiency: A location spending rate puzzle," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 50-62.
    4. Astrup Jensen, Bjarne & Marekwica, Marcel, 2011. "Optimal portfolio choice with wash sale constraints," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1916-1937.
    5. Fischer, Marcel & Gallmeyer, Michael F., 2016. "Heuristic portfolio trading rules with capital gain taxes," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(3), pages 611-625.
    6. Clemens Sialm, 2009. "Tax Changes and Asset Pricing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1356-1383, September.
    7. Marekwica, Marcel, 2012. "Optimal tax-timing and asset allocation when tax rebates on capital losses are limited," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2048-2063.
    8. Bekaert, Geert & Hoyem, Kenton & Hu, Wei-Yin & Ravina, Enrichetta, 2017. "Who is internationally diversified? Evidence from the 401(k) plans of 296 firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 86-112.
    9. Zhou, Jie, 2009. "The asset location puzzle: Taxes matter," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 955-969, April.
    10. Frank Seifried, 2010. "Optimal investment with deferred capital gains taxes," Mathematical Methods of Operations Research, Springer;Gesellschaft für Operations Research (GOR);Nederlands Genootschap voor Besliskunde (NGB), vol. 71(1), pages 181-199, February.
    11. Katarzyna Romaniuk, 2013. "Pension fund taxation and risk-taking: should we switch from the EET to the TEE regime?," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 573-588, November.
    12. Rydqvist, Kristian & Spizman, Joshua & Strebulaev, Ilya, 2011. "The evolution of aggregate stock ownership," CFS Working Paper Series 2011/18, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    13. Rydqvist, Kristian & Schwartz, Steven T. & Spizman, Joshua D., 2014. "The tax benefit of income smoothing," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 78-88.
    14. repec:spr:compst:v:71:y:2010:i:1:p:181-199 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Chen, Damiaan H. J. & Beetsma, Roel M. W. J. & Ponds, Eduard H. M. & Romp, Ward E., 2016. "Intergenerational risk-sharing through funded pensions and public debt," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 127-159, April.
    16. Rydqvist, Kristian & Schwartz, Steven & Spizman, Joshua, 2011. "The Tax Benefit of Income Smoothing," CEPR Discussion Papers 8425, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    17. Clemens Sialm & Laura Starks, 2012. "Mutual Fund Tax Clienteles," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(4), pages 1397-1422, August.
    18. Zhou, Jie, 2012. "Life-cycle stock market participation in taxable and tax-deferred accounts," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1814-1829.
    19. Geert Bekaert & Kenton Hoyem & Wei-Yin Hu & Enrichetta Ravina, 2015. "Who is Internationally Diversified? Evidence from 296 401(k)," NBER Working Papers 21236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Bernd Genser & Robert Holzmann, 2016. "The Taxation of Internationally Portable Pensions: Fiscal Issues and Policy Options," CESifo Working Paper Series 5702, CESifo Group Munich.
    21. repec:eee:jfinec:v:126:y:2017:i:3:p:689-712 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. repec:eee:eecrev:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:26-41 is not listed on IDEAS

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