Don’t Buy the Distribution
As the holidays draw near, many investors are celebrating another annual tradition: Distribution season.
In December, many funds will pay out accumulated income, as they do every year. This income, along with any capital gains distributions you receive from funds held outside of a tax-advantaged retirement account, is taxable in the year it is received—so any income or capital gains you receive as a holiday bonus this year will have to be included on your 2014 tax return come April 2015.
If you are planning to make any additional purchases before year-end, it’s important to know when your funds are planning to make their distributions. Why? Because if you buy shares of a fund prior to its “ex-dividend” date (the date on which the fund’s price is reduced by the amount of the expected dividendA cash payment to investors who own stock in the company. or capital gain), you will be on the hook to pay taxes on distributions on those shares even though you didn’t own the shares when that income was “earned.” Buying shares just before to the ex-dividend date is often referred to as “buying the dividend,” and it’s something we avoid whenever possible for our clients.
To help you sidestep this mistake with Fidelity and Vanguard funds, we’ve put together a list of those that are currently scheduled to pay out income and/or capital gains next month (the Vanguard funds listed only include those projected to have capital gains, the firm won’t release a full distribution calendar with income estimates until December 9). Fidelity funds that do not appear on the list are not expected to make distributions this year, however, all information for both fund companies is subject to change (as are the distribution dates). Note that any shares you own on the fund’s “record date” will be eligible for distributions and that ETFsA type of security which allows investors to indirectly invest in an underlying basket of financial instruments (these may include stocks, bonds, commodities or other types of instruments). Shares in an ETF are publicly traded on an exchange, and the price of an ETF’s shares will fluctuate throughout the trading day (traditional mutual funds trade only once a day). For example, one popular ETF tracks the companies in the S&P 500, so buying a share of the ETF gets an investor exposure to all 500 companies in the index. distribute on a different schedule, with the ex-dividend date actually falling before the record date.
So, again, to avoid additional distributions just before the end of the tax-year, don’t buy a fund—or additional shares in a fund—until after the record date.
Record Date: 12/4 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/5
Fidelity Funds: Canada, Capital & Income, Capital Appreciation, China Region, Disciplined EquityThe amount of money that would be returned to shareholders if a company’s assets were sold off and all its debt repaid., Diversified International, Emerging Asia, Emerging Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA), Emerging Markets, Emerging Markets Discovery, Europe, Event Driven Opportunities, Export and Multinational, Floating Rate High Income, Focused High Income, Focused StockA financial instrument giving the holder a proportion of the ownership and earnings of a company., Global Commodity Stock, Global Equity Income, Global High Income, Growth Company, High Income, International Capital Appreciation, International Discovery, International Growth, International Small Cap, International Small Cap Opportunities, International Value, Japan, Japan Smaller Companies, Large Cap Stock, Latin America, Leveraged Company Stock, Magellan, Maryland Municipal Income, Municipal Income 2015, New York Municipal Income, Nordic, Overseas, Pacific Basin, Select Biotechnology, Select Communications Equipment, Select Electronics, Select Energy Service, Select Environment and Alternative Energy, Select Technology, Select Utilities, Select Wireless, Short Duration High Income, Small Cap Discovery, Small Cap Growth, Small Cap Stock, Small Cap Value, Spartan 500 Index, Spartan Emerging Markets Index, Spartan Extended Market Index, Spartan Global ex U.S. Index, Spartan International Index, Spartan Mid Cap Index, Spartan Real Estate Index, Spartan Small Cap Index, Spartan Total Market Index, Stock Selector Small Cap, Total Emerging Markets, Total International Equity, Value, Worldwide.
Record Date: 12/11 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/12
Fidelity Funds: All Asset Manager funds, Balanced, Blue Chip Growth, Blue Chip Value, Contrafund, Convertible Securities, DividendA cash payment to investors who own stock in the company. Growth, Equity-Income, Fidelity, Global Balanced, Growth Discovery, Growth Strategies, Independence, International Enhanced Index, International Real Estate, Large Cap Core Enhanced Index, Large Cap Growth Enhanced Index, Large Cap Value Enhanced Index, Low-Priced Stock, Mega Cap Stock, Mid Cap Enhanced Index, Mid Cap Value, Mid-Cap Stock, Nasdaq Composite Index, New Millennium, OTC, Puritan, Real Estate Income, Small Cap Enhanced Index, Stock Selector All Cap, Stock Selector Large Cap Value, Strategic Dividend & Income, Strategic Income, Strategic Real Return, Value Discovery, Value Strategies.
Record Date: 12/16 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/17
Vanguard Funds: Capital Value, Equity Income, Explorer, Explorer Value, GNMA, Growth & Income, Intermediate-Term Investment Grade, Intermediate-Term Treasury, Long-Term Investment-Grade, Long-Term Treasury, Morgan Growth, Selected Value, Short-Term Investment-Grade, Short-Term Treasury, Strategic Equity, Strategic Small-Cap Equity, U.S. Growth, Wellesley Income, Windsor, Windsor II.
Record Date: 12/18 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/19
Fidelity Funds: Connecticut Municipal Income, all Income Replacement funds, Inflation-Protected BondA financial instrument representing an IOU from the borrower to the lender. Bond issuers promise to pay bond holders a given amount of interest for a pre-determined amount of time until the loan is repaid in full (otherwise known as the maturity date). Bonds can have a fixed or floating interest rate. Fixed-rate bonds pay out a pre-determined amount of interest each year, while floating-rate bonds can pay higher or lower interest each year depending on prevailing market interest rates., Limited Term Government, New Markets Income, Select Air Transportation, Select Automotive, Select Banking, Select Brokerage and Investment Management, Select Chemicals, Select Computers, Select Construction and Housing, Select Consumer Discretionary, Select Consumer Finance, Select Consumer Staples, Select Defense and Aerospace, Select Energy, Select Financial Services, Select Gold, Select Health Care, Select Industrial Equipment, Select Industrials, Select Insurance, Select IT Services, Select Leisure, Select Materials, Select Medical Delivery, Select Medical Equipment and Systems, Select Multimedia, Select Natural Gas, Select Natural Resources, Select Pharmaceuticals, Select Retailing, Select Software and Computer Services, Select Telecommunications, Select Transportation, Spartan Intermediate Treasury Bond Index, Spartan Short-Term Treasury Bond Index, Trend.
Vanguard Fund: Global Minimum VolatilityA measure of how large the changes in an asset’s price are. The more volatile an asset, the more likely that its price will experience sharp rises and steep drops over time. The more volatile an asset is, the riskier it is to invest in..
Record Date: 12/19 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/22
Vanguard Funds: Capital Opportunity, Dividend Growth, Energy, Health Care, Intermediated-Term Bond Index, Intermediated-Term Corporate Bond Index, International Explorer, Long-Term Bond Index, Mid-Cap Growth, Mortgage-Backed Securities Index, PRIMECAP Core, PRIMECAP, Short-Term Bond Index, Short-Term Corporate Bond Index, Short-Term Government Bond Index, Total Bond Market Index.
Record Date: 12/22 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/18
Vanguard Fund: Extended Duration Treasury ETFA type of security which allows investors to indirectly invest in an underlying basket of financial instruments (these may include stocks, bonds, commodities or other types of instruments). Shares in an ETF are publicly traded on an exchange, and the price of an ETF’s shares will fluctuate throughout the trading day (traditional mutual funds trade only once a day). For example, one popular ETF tracks the companies in the S&P 500, so buying a share of the ETF gets an investor exposure to all 500 companies in the index..
Record Date: 12/24 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/23
Vanguard Funds: Intermediate-Term Bond ETF, Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond ETF, Long-Term Bond ETF, Mortgage-Backed Securities ETF, Short-Term Bond ETF, Short-Term Corporate Bond ETF, Short-Term Government Bond ETF, Total Bond Market ETF.
Record Date: 12/24 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/26
Fidelity Funds: Intermediate Municipal Bond, Limited Term Municipal Income, Minnesota Municipal Income, Pennsylvania Municipal Income, Spartan Inflation-Protected Bond Index.
Vanguard Funds: Convertible Securities, Inflation-Protected Securities, Long-Term Tax-Exempt, Massachusetts Tax-Exempt, New Jersey Long-Term Tax-Exempt, Ohio Long-Term Tax-Exempt, Pennsylvania Tax-Exempt, Wellington.
Record Date: 12/26 Ex-Dividend Date: 12/29
Fidelity Funds: Four-in-One Index, all Fidelity Freedom funds, Global Strategies, Real Estate High Income, all Strategic Advisers funds (except Core Income and Short Duration).
Vanguard Funds: Diversified Equity, all LifeStrategy funds, STAR, most Target Retirement funds (Income, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030 and 2040).
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