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Hi there...

[[ If I converted 54 shares of MSFT on 10/9/98, do I compute my dollar appreciation based on
10/9/98 stock price? ]]

Sorry, but you were a little brief with your details.

Are you talking about a conversion from a regular IRA to a Roth IRA? That's really the only "conversion" that I can guess at given the limited information that you provided.

If this is the case, your broker will compute your taxable income on that conversion, based upon the date of the conversion...which would be 10-9-98 in your example.

Hope this helps. If I missed the point of your question, please give me some additional detail and I'll take another shot at it.

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