Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

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barrett
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by barrett » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:02 am

ochotona wrote:Jason,

Are you making $470,701 and over for married-filing-jointly? Is that why your long-term cap gains tax rate is 20%? If so, just be thankful that you have such a problem, rebalance your portfolio and pay the damn tax.

For people making below that, there is no 20% capital gains tax rate. Look at the table here.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/taxes/c ... tax-rates/

If you make $75,900 or less married filing jointly, your long-term capital gains tax is ZERO. Above that, it's 15%, until you get to the no-sympathy range of $470,701 and over.
Ocho is, of course, right about all this, including the "no-sympathy range".

I just wanted to add that a lot of people don't appreciate what a plus it can be to hit retirement with a relatively high cost basis in taxable accounts. If one is planning to do significant Roth conversions from ages 59.5 to 70.5, being able to pull money from taxable to live on without getting hit with a lot of taxes is absolutely YUGE.

Jason, it could be to your long-term benefit to take some gains & pay some taxes at this point (depending on all kinds of factors that only you know).
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Kbg
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by Kbg » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:12 pm

Jason,

I’ll bite.

Two options:

1. Stick a tight fitting moving average on the stock component, something like a month would work. Pull the trigger when your ETF/mutual fund closes below it. Advantage: If the market continues to go up you get a little bit of it. Disadvantage if it does so before the end of the year you have taxable event for this year.

2. Pull the trigger in January. Advantage: Guaranteed tax deferment. Disadvantage: The market goes straight down from here and you didn’t bank the profits you could have.

I assume you know your ~ tax bill if you pull the trigger on a rebalance. A little math will tell you exactly how far the stock market would need to go down before you really started to regret not rebalancing and paying the tax bill. Somewhere before that is when you definitely should pull the trigger.

However...seriously who knows what the market is going to do over a given period of time? Unless you do why wring your hands over it? As I’ve said umpteenth times on this board...rebalancing is first and foremost about risk control (and taxes in a taxable account).

Do the math, pick a “when this happens I’m rebalancing period”, then do it. The discipline and sticking to it will pay out far more over time than trying to time the market by a couple of days here or there.
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ochotona
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by ochotona » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:15 pm

Buy some options for protection until January 2 sale?
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Kbg
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by Kbg » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:09 am

They are certainly cheap right now. However, December is usually one of the best months of the year historically and consistently. If it would help one sleep, as of the close on Friday the insurance cost to January 3 is .007 of your portfolio value.
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jason
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by jason » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:52 am

OK, I'm officially over 35% on stocks right now - 35.06% to be exact. Thanks for all the input. I'm leaning towards waiting until after January 1st to re-balance in order to defer the taxes. The question is, WWHD (what would Harry do)?
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jason
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by jason » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:54 pm

barrett wrote:
ochotona wrote:Jason,

Are you making $470,701 and over for married-filing-jointly? Is that why your long-term cap gains tax rate is 20%? If so, just be thankful that you have such a problem, rebalance your portfolio and pay the damn tax.

For people making below that, there is no 20% capital gains tax rate. Look at the table here.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/taxes/c ... tax-rates/

If you make $75,900 or less married filing jointly, your long-term capital gains tax is ZERO. Above that, it's 15%, until you get to the no-sympathy range of $470,701 and over.
Ocho is, of course, right about all this, including the "no-sympathy range".

I just wanted to add that a lot of people don't appreciate what a plus it can be to hit retirement with a relatively high cost basis in taxable accounts. If one is planning to do significant Roth conversions from ages 59.5 to 70.5, being able to pull money from taxable to live on without getting hit with a lot of taxes is absolutely YUGE.

Jason, it could be to your long-term benefit to take some gains & pay some taxes at this point (depending on all kinds of factors that only you know).
My annual income is around $250k per year including my typical dividends and interest on Treasuries. So I guess I'm at 15% for long term capital gains during a typical year. But if I do a major rebalancing, that could push me to 20% for long term capital gains right?
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buddtholomew
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by buddtholomew » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:21 pm

jason wrote:OK, I'm officially over 35% on stocks right now - 35.06% to be exact. Thanks for all the input. I'm leaning towards waiting until after January 1st to re-balance in order to defer the taxes. The question is, WWHD (what would Harry do)?
Since you seem stressed on doing the right thing, sell a little now (perhaps down to 32% equities) and then reasses next year. Seems like a win-win to me.
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Kbg
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by Kbg » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:29 am

Assuming you aren’t selling today or haven’t sold yet, at this point I would go the trailing stop route. Ride the bull for as much as it will give you as taxes will now be pushed into 2018...and if you do this, pull the freaking trigger on the rebalance as soon as price closes below the moving average. All we are doing here is trying to get a little bit extra return. Risk profile is still the paramount concern.
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jason
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by jason » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:31 pm

I did not pull the trigger in 2017 to re-balance. Now, in 2018, my stocks are not over 35% anymore. So should I wait until it hits 35% again before re-balancing? I know HB said to only check the account around once a year so if I had not been checking it, I would not have known it had temporarily moved over 35%. But Murphy's Law says that if I don't re-balance based on the fact that it did exceed 35% a couple of weeks ago, it will come back to bite me.
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by dualstow » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:57 pm

{ self-censored. not very new yearsy }
Last edited by dualstow on Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TLT HITS NEW 52-WK HIGH
bedraggled
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by bedraggled » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:19 pm

By not rebalancing, and if the stocks are in a taxable account, it seems you avoided a taxable event- no Schedule D yet. That should be good. Also, commission costs were avoided. We all may be better if all our positions stayed at 34.9% through 2024. Just an idle thought for the new year.
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eufo
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Re: Re-balance instantly or wait a little while?

Post by eufo » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:26 pm

jason wrote:I did not pull the trigger in 2017 to re-balance. Now, in 2018, my stocks are not over 35% anymore. So should I wait until it hits 35% again before re-balancing? I know HB said to only check the account around once a year so if I had not been checking it, I would not have known it had temporarily moved over 35%. But Murphy's Law says that if I don't re-balance based on the fact that it did exceed 35% a couple of weeks ago, it will come back to bite me.
There's not really a right or wrong answer here, so don't overthink it. I'm currently at 35% stocks, myself, but my desired allocation is 40%. So it's all a matter of perspective. You're hesitant to sell, while I'm hesitant to buy. I'm cash heavy and that helps me sleep at night. I'm willing to give up some gains for that feeling.

Given the state of things, if I were in your shoes I'd gladly sell since stocks have had such a nice run. It doesn't mean they won't keep going , however. The future's not ours to see... so do what feels right to you.
Don't agree with me too strongly or I'm going to change my mind
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