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Home > > Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

Balance transfer requests submitted on application receive APR of 9.99% for the first 12 months. Then, the standard APR for purchases will apply
Earn up to 25,000 bonus miles-- enough for a total of $250 off Delta flights
Earn at least 1 SkyMile for every eligible dollar you spend
Always Double Miles® on eligible everyday purchases and all Delta purchases
Your Delta Frequent Flyer number is printed on your Card
Pay with Miles: Pay for all or part of your flight with miles - and put the rest on your Card
Express Approval. Get a decision in less than 60 seconds.
No annual fee

  • Earn 20,000 bonus SkyMiles(R) (including 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles) after first purchase and another 2,500 for adding an Additional Cardmember

  • Earn one companion Coach Class ticket each year upon renewal

  • Earn at least 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent

  • Miles never expire and there is no cap on the miles you can earn

  • Pay with Miles: Pay for all or part of your flight with miles - and put the rest on your Card

  • Express Approval. Get a decision in less than 60 seconds.


Apply now Back


Q: I am trying to decide if opening and contributing to a Roth IRA would be a better option than contributing over and above what my company matches in my 401K.

A: Ideally, it’s best to max out both your 401K and Roth IRA accounts; the more you can save for retirement the better. However, for many people this is not possible, so the question then becomes which account should I invest in first?

Generally, it’s best to invest in your 401K plan first, up to the amount your employer will match, then to invest in a Roth IRA. If you have additional funds to invest after making the maximum contribution to your Roth IRA, you should max out your 401K, and then invest in taxable accounts. There are always exceptions, however, so here are some points to consider when deciding the best order to invest your retirement funds:

Matching Contribution – many employers will provide a matching contribution when you elect to participate in the company 401K or other employer sponsored retirement plan. This is free money, and should be taken advantage of even if your 401K plan isn’t the best due to poor investment choices, high expenses, etc. There is no matching contribution for a Roth IRA, so you should invest in your 401K up to the matching contribution first, before you invest in a Roth IRA.

Investment Choices – Most 401K plans have a limited number of investments to choose from. Roth IRAs can be opened just about anywhere: mutual fund companies, brokerage firms, banks, etc., which means your investment choices are unlimited. If your 401K plan has limited or poor investment selections to choose from, the Roth IRA may be the better choice (after you contribute enough to get the matching contribution in your 401K plan).

Taxes – although your 401K contributions are tax-deferred, which allows more of your money to go to work for you, money invested in a Roth IRA grows tax free. As long as you follow the rules, you may never pay taxes on the earnings in a Roth IRA. If you expect to be in a higher tax bracket when you retire, this could result in substantial tax savings.

Because withdrawals from a 401K account are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate, withdrawals could potentially push you into a higher tax bracket. If you have a combination of 401K and Roth IRA accounts, you have greater flexibility in choosing which account to withdraw from, which could allow for tax planning opportunities to help minimize your taxes during your retirement years.

One more note regarding taxes: 401K, traditional IRAs, and other employer sponsored retirement plans are subject to the Required Minimum Distribution rules; Roth IRAs are not. Again, having Roth IRAs in combination with your 401K accounts can provide tax planning opportunities not available to people who only have 401K accounts.

Withdrawals – your contributions to a Roth IRA are available to you penalty and tax-free at any time. Your earnings in a Roth IRA may also be withdrawn at any time. There is a 10% penalty, but this penalty may be waived under certain circumstances (disabled, first time homebuyer, qualified higher education expenses and more). Withdrawals from a 401K plan are much more restricted, as employers may or may not allow early withdrawals or loans.

Automatic investments – contributions to your 401K account are automatic since they come directly from your paycheck. This makes investing in your 401K easy and convenient, and after you’ve started contributing, most likely you’ll no longer miss the money being invested. Investing in a Roth IRA takes more effort. Although many Roth IRA custodians will allow you to setup an automatic investment plan from your checking or savings account, it takes more discipline to invest in a Roth IRA than it does to invest in a 401K plan. If you think you don’t have the discipline to invest in a Roth IRA account, then investing in a 401K plan (even a poor 401K plan) is better than not investing at all.

Conclusion: Everyone’s situation is different, and there is no one specific order for retirement investing that is perfect for everyone. However, investing in your 401K up to the matching percentage, and then opening a Roth IRA is a good strategy for most people, as a combination of 401K and Roth IRAs could provide you with the best of both worlds. Both types of accounts have many benefits which can allow for flexibility and planning opportunities when it comes to withdrawals and taxes, both before and after you retire.

This is perhaps a startling thought to many people. But while I do find it provocative, it is perhaps not very far-fetched and has its merits. Of course, if one believes that Provenge is a guaranteed blockbuster than the thought is simply absurd. But if one takes what I consider a more realistic view that the path to Provenge’s success is extremely difficult then, perhaps, getting rid of Provenge is not such a bad idea.

Dendreon is burning close to 100 million dollars per year, with most of the money going to Provenge clinical trials, building manufacturing facilities for Provenge, preparing the sales force for Provenge, etc. Provenge, Provenge, Provenge – everything else seems to be on the back burner. While the company still has cash at the moment, it is running out of it fast. In fact, the money will have to be raised sometime in 2006, before or soon after the launch of Provenge.

Dendreon will likely to be starving for cash till 2008 before the money from the Provenge sales may start trickling down. And what if the trickle is very meager? Two-three years from now new cheaper drugs could well outcompete Provenge and reduce it to a fancy expensive drug with limited patient base. There are several competitors that could bring their drugs relatively soon after Provenge hits the market. Prostvac-VF from Therion, GVAX from Cell Genesys (CEGE), and DN-101 from Novacea come to mind. While these drugs are likely to be approved after Provenge, they will most likely be much cheaper to produce because they are not custom-manufactured for each patient. With so many drugs targeting the prostate cancer, the ability of a company to deliver drugs that are competitive price-wise could be the most critical for winning a substantial share of the market.

I would go as far as to suggest that the scenario according to which Provenge is not even able to pay for the cost of its own development is quite likely. At the same time, the cash that Dendreon has now could be used to more speedily pursue highly promising Trp8 inhibitors that are currently in the pre-clinical development. ~130M in cash is large enough to push Trp8 program well into phase II clinical trials. It may be unfortunate that the money will be spent on Provenge, a possible money sink with no meaningful return to the shareholders. DNDN should continue to produce good setup for the short-term trader but it may not be such a great play for the long-term investor.

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