Mar 5, 2008

What to do about GLD?

A few months ago when I dove into the market with idealism and ignorance, I wanted in on all this gold excitement in the market. I believe the market is tanking, a recession is inevitable (if not already happening) and gold will do well for a while. I believe, and largely still believe the hype.

However, what I didn't realize at the time (damn me for not reading the prospectus or understanding tax law) is that GLD, being as it actually means I hold a small tiny piece of actual gold, is considered a collectible by the IRS.

Why does that matter?

Well, normal long term capital gains are apparently taxed at 15 percent, which is actually pretty nice given that you can make a lot of money in the stock market, and as long as you hold your stocks for a year you only have to pay the 15 percent tax.

However, GLD, the "collectible," is taxed at a rate of 28 %.

Oy!

So now I'm trying to figure out what to do with the GLD stock in my Sharebuilder account.

I understand the long term capital gain tax, but I'm still unclear what the gains would be taxed at if I cashed out in less than a year. I'll probably want to do that anyway given that gold's price will hit the roof at some point, the dollar will recover with the new president coming in (hopefully) and I can sell off the gold.

But what rate will GLD be taxed at if I sell it within a year?

Also, I'm buying it about once a month in smallish increments. Right now I own about $470, or a little less than 5 shares of GLD. As of today, the account has a net profit of $34. To sell it, though, would cost $10. So if I sell today, I made $24. But that $24 will be taxed. What rate would it be taxed at?

When it comes to long term capital gains, is the "one year" policy based on when you bought each share? What if I bought a part of a share per month? When can I sell to get the long term capital gains tax instead of the short term tax? And would I want to wait or sell sooner for my GLD holdings?

Can someone explain this to me...?



1 comments:

tmgux said...

If GLD is considered a collectible by the IRS, you will be charged similar to the short term capital gains tax. Which is: "Ordinary income tax rates up to 35%".
If you sell your shares within a year your 24$ would be taxed at your rate, I'm assuming 28%.

"When it comes to long term capital gains, is the "one year" policy based on when you bought each share?" - Yes

"What if I bought a part of a share per month?" - Doesn't matter

"When can I sell to get the long term capital gains tax instead of the short term tax?" - Honestly don't bother.

Sell GLD now and just accept that 28% on 24$ is not bad at all.

(assuming this is a taxable account) With proceeds from GLD buy a low cost index fund that is tax efficient (VTI is a great choice) and change your investment plan to invest in that.

(Also, you should cancel the monthly fee for sharebuilder). Just save up your money in the bank and make like 1 trade per month. It's much cheaper to do that and pay 4$ per trade than pay the 20$ a month or whatever it is for sharebuilder. I know its really fun learning about and doing this stuff, but don't make this harder than it is. :)

-Kevin

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