Mutual Fund Buyers: Beware of a Potential Tax Surprise!

Brian SingletonBlog, Old Site, Watch Your Wallet

The stock market has made headlines this year with record volatility, record drops, and even record gains. And while many investors are still sitting on the sidelines, you may already be looking for bargains amidst the wreckage. So, we’re writing to alert you to a possible problem with acting now.

Are you considering buying mutual funds in a taxable account (as opposed to an IRA or 401K)? Then you should be aware that most funds distribute capital gains this time of year. These distributions are taxable to you as long-term capital gains, even if you just bought the fund.

The average U.S diversified stock fund is down about 33% for the year. Funds in most other categories are down as well. But many of those funds sold assets for nice profits earlier this year. This means you may get socked with a nasty tax surprise!

There are generally two ways to avoid this bite. The first is to find funds without capital gains to distribute. The second is to wait until a fund actually pays out capital gain distributions. Check with your prospective fund to see if they expect distributions, and if so, when they will be paid.

Today’s challenging market makes it even more important to invest with an eye on taxes. For more ideas on tax-efficient investing, call us at 760-747-4605.