By Solomon G. Teller, CFA, Chief Investment Strategist, Green Harvest Asset Management
Tax beneficial investing begins with vehicle selection and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have an established history of providing an after-tax edge. An important paper released in December demonstrated that among ETFs’ numerous advantages, the tax edge was actually the primary driver of the $Trillions in flows to ETFs over the last few years, particularly among high tax bracket investors.
Some capital gains are inevitable, even for index investors (e.g., forced distributions resulting from mergers or acquisitions). ETFs’ unique creation/redemption process, however, has been so successful in reducing tax cost that the paper’s authors have gone so far as to say that as compared to mutual funds, “it’s not fair and it’s not a level playing field”.
We might agree.
Performance quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so you may have a gain or loss when the portfolio is liquidated. Current performance may be higher or lower than that quoted. Performance of an index is not illustrative of any particular investment. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.
GHAM does not provide tax advice. Although GHAM does not employ a Certified Public Accountant on its staff, we have, and continue to work with outside accounting firms and outside tax counsel that provide ongoing guidance and updates on all relevant tax law. Federal, state and local tax laws are subject to change. GHAM is not responsible for providing clients updates on any changes in tax laws, rules or statutes.
Reasons to harvest capital losses, sources of capital gains and the suggestion that mutual funds distribute capital gains are for example purposes only and not meant to be tax, estate planning or investment advice in any form or for any specific client.
All performance and estimates of strategy performance, after tax alpha, after tax alpha opportunities and other performance figures are derived from data provided from multiple third-party sources. All estimates were created with the benefit of hindsight and may not be achieved in a live account. The data received by GHAM is unaudited and its reliability and accuracy is not guaranteed.
The availability of tax alpha is highly dependent upon the initial date and time of investment as well as market direction and security volatility during the investment period. Tax loss harvesting outcomes may vary greatly for clients who invest on different days, weeks, months and all other time periods.
All estimates of past returns of broad, narrow, sector, country, regional or other indices do not include the impact of advisor fees, unless specifically indicated. Past performance and volatility figures should not be relied upon as an indicator of future performance or volatility.
This material is not intended to be relied upon as legal, investment or tax advice in any form or for any specific client. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any specific person. All investments carry a certain degree of risk, and there is no assurance that an investment will perform as expected over any period of time.
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