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Diving for Worthy IRA Picks

These vehicles help you take maximum advantage of the IRA's tax-sheltered wrapper.

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You have a few extra days this year if you want to squeak in an IRA contribution for the 2011 tax year--until April 17. That's because April 15--the traditional tax day--falls on a Sunday this year, and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia.

But even though that date seems far off into the future (it sure does here on the wintery plains of Illinois), resist the temptation to wait until the last minute to fund your IRA. Take a few moments to X-Ray your portfolio, assess whether your current portfolio is in line with your intended allocations, and determine if you have holes you need to fill. New IRA contributions are limited to $5,000 for savers under 50 and $6,000 for the over-50 set, so funding an IRA might not be enough to move the needle, but it's a good start.

Christine Benz does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.