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hi! sorry for previous blank message.

I suggest that you do a lot of reading and get caught up on tax law prior to filing your 1997 returns. While we can all be of assistance - you will want to do your own research.

In mutual funds (non-IRA) you are at the mercy of the fund manager as to turnover of the portfolio. You will be required to declare and pay taxes on dividends and CG. In an IRA you do not pay taxes until you withdraw the $ - and then pay taxes at your current tax bracket (except for the Roth IRA).

If you have individual stocks you can control CGs - by determining when, how many, and which shares you sell, but dividends are still taxable when you receive them (even if they are reinvested and you actually never receive the $).

I am sure you don't want to tangle with the IRS - so start doing your homework now. We will all help.
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