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Greetings, Frank, and welcome. You asked:

Are capital gains an issue at all in an IRA? Or is everything just taxed as ordinary income once I retire and begin withdrawls?

I'm doing a Foolish Four with the money - I'm wondering if it really matters if I wait the full one year or if I trade the stocks prior to that time.

No, capital gains are not an issue within an IRA. In a tradtional IRA, when you begin withdrawals all previously untaxed money (i.e., deductible contributions and all earnings) will be taxed at the ordinary income tax rates in effect at the time of the withdrawal.

All of the Dow strategies to include the Foolish Four are based on a 12- or an 18-month holding period, whichever you prefer. To alter that strategy (particularly the 12-month holding period) means you will be trading instead of practising the buy-and-hold discipline called for by that strategy. That approach might work, but more probably it will not. The time periods involved have been back-tested to 1961 Shorter holding periods have not, so who knows what the statistics would reveal for them? IMHO, if you're going to use a strategy, use it in full to achieve the expected results.

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