Thursday, October 16, 2008

Harvesting Tax Losses

As we have in previous years, the time has come to review Unrealized Gains and Losses reports for all clients that have accounts subject to tax. Given the unusual year we have had in the markets, we have decided to begin this process a bit earlier this year. We plan to run these reports over the coming weeks and are likely to find some positions to sell in order to capture losses and save some money in taxes. With the significant downturn so far this year, you could have the opportunity to soften the blow somewhat by reducing your tax bill this year and possibly in future years, as well. We call this "harvesting tax losses."

If we do sell such an asset, we will reinvest the proceeds into a "substantially different" mutual fund so we avoid the "wash sale" rules but remain in the market. At tax time we will provide details of the sale, including the cost basis to you. This report would be sent to you early in 2009 for submission to your accountant. If in your case, we do find sufficient losses to justify harvesting you will receive confirmations of the trade activity from Schwab.

But before we are able to proceed with loss harvesting, we will need your authorization. Please contact our office with your authorization.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Market Turmoil

The markets are in turmoil. The Bailout is in effect. What should we do? First, stay calm. Your Portfolio allocation was determined with the knowledge that difficult times would come again. Here they are. We will address these issues more fully in our upcoming newsletter. In the meantime, we want to share the audio presentation below. It is about 15 minutes long and a little technical in the beginning, but the presenter does a good job of putting things in perspective if you stick with it.

We have experienced a lot of volatility and uncertainty the past few months and are now witnessing things we have not seen in many years. We understand the strain this puts on everyone and the temptation to abandon the long-term investment plan we have in place. It's important, however, to keep things in perspective in times like these. We hope the presentation helps.