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[[I have one foolish question need to clarify:
The stocks I am holding should not be taxed anything for 1998 (even the value
increased a lot), unless I sold them in 1998. Is this right?]]

That's right. One of the beautiful things about holding individual stocks is that YOU control when you get taxed. If you don't sell anything, you pay no taxes. If you hold mutual funds, the funds are required by law to make taxable distributions at least once a year. That means that you'll have taxes to pay on those distributions, even though YOU may not have sold a thing.

Which is one of the many reasons I like individual stock, and I'm very down on mutual funds.

I also talk about this issue in The Motley Fool Investment Tax Guide. You might want to check out this book for some basic backround on investing and taxes. It's something that may really benefit you.

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