Mutual Fund Distributions

Dear Garden State Trust:

I bought shares in a mutual fund last summer and now I’m getting a distribution of capital gains from the fund. Why? I don’t want that. Do I have to pay taxes on it?

—Buyer and Holder

Dear Buyer:

Federal law requires mutual funds to distribute nearly all of their realized capital gains to their shareholders. Fund managers may try to offset gains with capital losses, but in this long bull market that may be easier said than done. When investors sell their shares in a fund the managers must sell assets to meet the redemption, and that may generate the realized gains.

This year it is expected that mutual funds will pay out roughly 10% of their net assets to their shareholders. This is not a function of how well the fund performed, it is a function of how many gains they realized during the year.  Assets held for a long period may show a gain even in a down market.

Yes, you will have to pay taxes on the capital gain. You may reinvest the distribution in the fund if you wish. The only exception to the need to pay taxes is if the fund is held in a tax-deferred retirement account. Then you won’t owe anything until withdrawals begin, and they will be taxed at ordinary income rates.

Do you have a question concerning wealth management or trusts? Send your inquiry to contact@gstrustco.com

(December 2018)
© 2018 M.A. Co. All rights reserved.

Holiday Spending

Holiday spending: It could be a new record!

 Why does the holiday spending season start after Thanksgiving, and why is it called Black Friday? Is it because:

A. There was a market crash in gold in 1869 that cause financial distress to many.

B. There was generally chaos in the streets of Philadelphia in the 1950s on Friday after Thanksgiving with an increase in shopping.

C. Retailers wanted a positive image for themselves and their customers, and their books going “in the black” was considered positive for them and the consumer.

D. Both B and C.

Answer – D.

Answer A is true, and was the first documented usage of the term “Black Friday”, but is unrelated to the current usage today.

There was a negative connotation associated with the term when if first started being utilized in Philadelphia in the 50s and the term caught on in 1961 and appeared in print. It wasn’t utilized nationwide until 1985, after retailers had rebranded the term as positive and being about going from their books being in the red, to turning a profit and being in the black.

A more detailed description of the history can be found here:

https://www.history.com/news/whats-the-real-history-of-black-friday

What about Cyber Monday?

Similarly, the current usage of the term came from promotion within the industry itself. It was coined by the National Retail Federations own Ellen Davis, SVP of research and strategic, in 2005 after seeing an uptick in online sales from multiple retailers on that date year after year.

A more detailed description of the history can be found here:

https://www.rd.com/culture/history-of-cyber-monday/

What about 2018?

Matthew Shay, the National Retail Federation President and CEO, said in October:

“Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year.”

Their recent news report (Click here for more info) suggests that the spending on Thanksgiving weekend was consistent with their earlier forecast of an increase of 4.8 percent in holiday spending. Even though the average spent per consumer is down for the weekend, they think the overall spend will be higher for the holiday season.

According to Adobe Analytics the sales for Cyber Monday this year set a new record, going up from 6.59 Billion to 7.9 Billion, almost a 20% increase!

Shopping online is becoming more ubiquitous, which means less of a personal touch. Although the NRF is projecting that holiday employment will rise from last year’s 582,500 to as many as 650,000 workers, one still may feel the absence of salesmen to help with a purchase as retailers try to create a more efficient slimmer version of themselves that can compete with Amazon.

At Garden State Trust Company, we know that each client is unique, and needs guidance for their individual situation. We’re local, and continue to provide the same high level of service one expected from their trust officer in the past, and should continue to expect in the future. Not a 1-800 number, or generic product model – we’re here for our clients and are ready to serve.

Photo By Benson Kua, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5610284