Patching the Hole in Your ETF Investment Bucket | Page 2 of 2 | ETF Trends

Also, a stand-alone ETF structure is generally considered to be relatively tax-efficient.  An ETF is bought and sold on an exchange, which means that if a large number of investors wish to sell their shares, they simply sell to willing buyers.  If there’s significant selling pressure in a traditional mutual fund, it can force the manager to sell securities in order to come up with cash for the redemptions.  For a comprehensive list of differences between ETFs and traditional mutual funds, click here.

In addition to being proactive about the tax efficiency of your investments, there are also tax strategies you can employ year-round that may reduce your overall liability come April 15th.  A common one is tax loss harvesting – identifying positions to sell at a loss in order to offset gains in the same portfolio.  This offset can only be done if the investor refrains from purchasing the same security within 30 days of the sale, but if you want to maintain exposure to the same asset class during that 30-day period, you may be able to do so with a highly correlated ETF [i].  The iShares Correlation Calculator is a great tool for employing this strategy.

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing more about tax efficient investing and strategies to help guide you through the end of the year.  Let me know in the comments section if there are any tax-related topics you’d like me to address!

Sue Thompson, CIMA, is the iShares Head of Registered Investment Advisor Group.

[i]The Internal Revenue Service has not released a definitive opinion regarding the definition of “substantially identical” securities and its application to the wash sale rule and ETFs. The information and examples provided are not intended to be a complete analysis of every material fact respecting tax strategy and are presented for educational and illustrative purposes only. Tax consequences will vary by individual taxpayer and individuals must carefully evaluate their tax position before engaging in any tax strategy.
iShares Funds are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders by year-end. These gains may be generated due to index rebalancing or to meet diversification requirements. Trading shares of the iShares Funds will also generate tax consequences and transaction expenses. Certain traditional mutual funds can be tax efficient as well.
BlackRock does not provide tax advice. Please note that (i) any discussion of U.S. tax matters contained in this communication cannot be used by you for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties; (ii) this communication was written to support the promotion or marketing of the matters addressed herein; and (iii) you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.