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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121114  
Subject: Being a pack rat pays off Date: 4/17/2008 2:12 PM
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I got my annual capital gains report from my broker with regard to a managed international stock account which is only available through brokers. It had one stock sale in 2007 with no purchase date or basis. His office said that was because the stock was purchased before 9/02, when he moved from RBC Dain Rauscher to Wachovia, where he is now. So I called RBC Dain Rauscher to see if they could help and they told me that my account records from that far back had been purged.

So I dug into my file cabinet and located the brokerage statement that showed the purchase, in 6/02, and was thus able to calculate my capital gain. It was a big enough gain that I didn't want to use $0 basis for convenience, nor did I want to research the stock price over the years to come up with some reasonable guess. So I'm glad I'm a pack rat.

--fleg
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Author: blm Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 100473 of 121114
Subject: Re: Being a pack rat pays off Date: 4/17/2008 7:09 PM
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So I dug into my file cabinet and located the brokerage statement that showed the purchase, in 6/02, and was thus able to calculate my capital gain. [...] So I'm glad I'm a pack rat.

I'd argue that keeping trade confirms (or other documentation) showing purchases until you dispose of an asset and handle the taxes on it is being prudent not a pack rat. But then maybe that's because I do the same and would rather be called prudent than a pack rat. :-)

Brian

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Author: lorenzo2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 100474 of 121114
Subject: Re: Being a pack rat pays off Date: 4/17/2008 9:56 PM
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keeping trade confirms (or other documentation) showing purchases until you dispose of an asset and handle the taxes on it is being prudent not a pack rat

It's not just being prudent, it's necessary. Although many brokers (especially the full service variety) provide basis information, they're not required to do so; it's the investor's responsibility to keep track of that, and to work out all the adjustments that go with splits, spinoffs, and acquisitions. It's not a particularly onerous task if you do it in a timely fashion, using a spreadsheet. If you wait until you sell an asset, perhaps many, many years after acquiring it, figuring the cost basis can be most vexing.

Lorenzo

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