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Put your most tax inefficient investments in the tax deferred accoounts. This would be things like bond funds, bonds, etc.
Put your most tax efficient investments in the taxable accounts. This would generally include index funds, individual stocks, municipal bonds,
Anything in the middle would go into the Roth's. Ideally the Roth should contain the investments that are expected to have large gains that incur high taxes. An example might be REITs or funds with a large turnover.


I agree with most of that, but would add:

For a tax-efficient portfolio, you probably want to have dividend paying international stocks in your personal, taxable account. Because foreign taxes withheld from dividends can be claimed as a foreign tax credit on your personal return, more or less like federal withholding.

But the withheld foreign taxes are simply lost in an IRA or other retirement plan account. If you REALLY want to own them there, you just have to accept that as an investment expense, depending on how significant it is.

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