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Author: Crosenfield Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121599  
Subject: Re: Taxes on an IRA brokerage account Date: 7/8/2000 11:53 AM
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" hI! what did u mean "stocks will go LONG TERM, in August???? "

In context it may be clearer. I wasn't referring to stocks in general. My stocks which in February showed enormous capital gains had been purchased in August 1999. When you hold a stock for a year and a day, your capital gains if you then sell are taxed at a favorable rate. If I sold in February stocks that had been purchased in August, I would have had a lot more tax to pay because short term capital gains are taxed as ordinary income. I looked at the tax bill if I sold in February and decided to hold on. Bad move. In March and May the stocks got hammered in the market and my account dropped alarmingly. (This is supposed to be retirement money, even if it is in a taxable account!). But now it has made back most of the losses so I don't feel so bad.
The point is, that in the IRA I did the right thing, sell--because there were no tax consequences. In my taxable account I failed to sell at the right time because it would have doubled my income for the year and I didn't want to have that much withholding tax; in February I didn't know I'd have to pay estimated taxes anyway for 2000.
Now I can only regret that I didn't sell the stocks in February and buy them back the end of May. What
this tells you is how difficult it is to time markets--if I'd gotten out in February, would I have had the sense to get back in again in late May? You have to be right TWICE, paying a commission both times. Not easy.
See why long term buy and hold, over time, works better? Best wishes, Chris
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