Find answers to your most common mutual fund questions.
Mutual funds offer you a diversified investment vehicle without requiring a great deal of money. Your investment and those of other investors with similar objectives are pooled to purchase securities.
A professional manager closely monitors the securities held within a fund portfolio to determine if they're meeting the objective of that fund. They buy and sell securities in an effort to get the best return for investors while maintaining that objective. There's usually a fee charged by fund companies for the manager's services. Those fees are normally a fraction of what it would cost you to make stock or bond purchases independently. See the prospectus for complete information regarding fees.
Yes. Although diversification may help your portfolio, it doesn't assure a profit or protect against loss in a declining market. Over-diversification can dilute your investment results and hinder progress towards achieving your goals.
You need to find a balance between returns and risk with a select number of funds appropriate for your personal financial needs.
During a volatile market period, it's important to remain focused on your long-term investment goals. There's always market risk involved when investing, including possible loss of principal. The resources on these pages may help you understand the benefits of diversifying your portfolio and making regular investments over a long period of time. Although no investment program cannot ensure a profit, a long-term plan may ease uncertainty created by market changes.
Yes. An easy way to do this is through a periodic investment plan. You can take advantage of an investment strategy known as dollar-cost averaging.
You can make annual contributions to a traditional or Roth IRA from January 1 through the tax-filing deadline (excluding extensions) for the contribution year. For example, 2017 contributions can be made from January 1, 2017 through April 15, 2018.
If you can be disciplined about investing for retirement, you'll have the opportunity to accumulate money over time and be better prepared for your retirement years. If you develop a mindset of paying yourself in addition to paying your bills, you should have a steady flow of money working for you.
Without a beneficiary, your IRA assets will generally pass to your estate upon your death. The assets could be subject to potential delays and expenses associated with settling an estate and distribution options allowed by federal income tax law may be limited.
A transfer is a movement of funds between like-type plans (e.g., IRA to IRA, SEP to SEP, Roth IRA to Roth IRA).
A rollover is generally a movement of funds from one type of plan (e.g., 401k) to another type of plan (e.g., IRA).
Distribution paperwork is a form that must be submitted to initiate a rollover. The paperwork may be referred to as a distribution election form, direct rollover form, or distribution authorization form. The paperwork may be part of a termination packet received by a participant who is eligible to receive a distribution from a plan.
Most custodians require the participant to call to request distribution paperwork. Custodians may process rollover requests through Internet forms or phone calls.
529 Savings Plans are higher education savings plan trusts. Through these plans, individuals make investments to save for qualifying higher education costs of beneficiaries. The plans include interests in pooled investment funds under trusts established by states or local governmental entities and higher education savings plan trusts established by states.
A 529 Savings Plan is a program that allows participants to invest in a special account designated for qualified higher education expenses. 529 savings plans offer a rate of return that depends on the performance of the plan's investments. As such, the value of a 529 savings plan account may increase or decrease over time.
A prepaid tuition plan allows parents, grandparents, and others to lock in today's tuition rates. The program will pay out future college tuition at any of the state's eligible colleges or universities (or make a payment to private and out-of-state institutions).
To start an account for a beneficiary, you need to complete an account application and make an initial contribution. Contributions to your account will be invested in shares of the portfolio(s) you choose after deducting any applicable sales charges. Shares can be redeemed from your account to pay for higher education costs of the beneficiary.
If the beneficiary of an account dies or becomes disabled, you are entitled to receive the balance in your account. Investment earnings will be taxed at your ordinary income rate. No federal penalty tax will be assessed and the trust will not assess a contingent deferred sales charge. You may also transfer the balance tax-free to an account for another beneficiary who is a qualified family member.
If your beneficiary elects not to pursue post-secondary education, you may either transfer the account balance to an account for another beneficiary who is a qualified family member or withdraw the principal and investment earnings in a non-qualified withdrawal.
Contributions over the applicable limit will not knowingly be accepted. However, if it's determined that contributions are over the limit, the excess and any earnings or losses attributed to the excess are refunded and treated as a non-qualified withdrawal that may be subject to a 10% federal penalty tax. No contingent deferred sales charge is assessed by the servicing agent.
Institutions must also be eligible to participate in U.S. Department of Education student aid programs.
There is no set date or age by which you must begin making withdrawals from your 529 Savings account.
Yes. It is a non-qualified withdrawal unless it is one of the following situations:
The earnings portion of a non-qualified withdrawal is treated as income to the distributee and is subject to federal tax, applicable state income tax, an additional 10% federal tax, and any contingent deferred sales charges assessed by the servicing agent.
The eligibility of the beneficiary for financial aid may depend upon:
These policies vary at different institutions and can change over time. Therefore, no person or entity can say with certainty how the federal or state aid programs or the school will treat your account.
Note: Financial aid programs administered by agencies of the state of Nebraska don't take account balances into consideration, except as provided by federal law.
If the designated beneficiary receives a scholarship or other financial aid, they may no longer require all the funds in the account.
IRS Publication 970 indicates that you may withdraw funds from your account up to the amount of the scholarship or other financial aid. The earnings portion of the withdrawal is included in your ordinary income, but no federal penalty tax is assessed. The trust is not assessed a contingent deferred sales charge if the aid is a scholarship, allowance, or payment described in section 25A(g)(2) of IRS code.
You may also transfer the amount withdrawn in a qualified rollover distribution and no amount of the withdrawal will be included in your income.
The Coverdell ESA is a trust or custodial account that provides individuals a tax-advantaged method to save up to $2,000 per year for a child's education. The account can be established for any child under age 18 and be used for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education. This includes kindergarten through grade 12 and college, graduate, and vocational school.
Contributions to a Coverdell ESA can be made any time after the birth of a child and may continue until their 18th birthday. Contributions will not be accepted after the child reaches their 18th birthday, unless the child is a special-needs beneficiary as defined by Treasury Department regulations.
There is no limit to the number of Coverdell ESAs that can be established designating a particular child as beneficiary. The total aggregate contributions to all accounts on behalf of a beneficiary cannot exceed $2,000 in any year.
You may contribute up to $2,000 annually to a child's Coverdell ESA if your modified adjusted gross income is less than the following in the tax year you contribute:
The $2,000 maximum contribution limit is gradually reduced if your modified adjusted gross income exceeds these limits.
Anyone, including the account beneficiary, may contribute to the Coverdell ESA, as long as their income falls within the income guidelines and the total of all contributions for one beneficiary does not exceed the $2,000 annual limit.
The annual amount you can contribute to a Coverdell ESA is dependent on your modified adjusted gross income on your federal income tax return. The following table should help you determine your Coverdell ESA contribution eligibility.
Investing involves risk, including potential for loss.
Target-date portfolios have investment objectives that are adjusted over time to be more conservative as the target date (date the investor plans to start withdrawing their funds) approaches. The principal value of the fund(s) is not guaranteed at any time, including at the target date.
Diversification, automatic investment plans, and dollar cost averaging do not assure a profit or protect against loss.
Bonds are subject to interest rate risk and may decline in value due to an increase in interest rates.
Securities distributed by State Farm VP Management Corp.
Before investing in a 529 plan, consider the plans investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact the plan issuer for an official statement containing this and other information. Read it carefully.
Investors should consider before investing whether their or their beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in such state’s qualified tuition program and should consult their tax advisor, attorney and/or other advisor regarding their specific legal, investment or tax situation.
Not FDIC Insured