The Globe and Mail reports in its Tuesday, Dec. 15, edition that it is a happy time for the many investors who are sitting on big profits this year. The Globe's guest columnist Norman Rothery writes that the S&P/TSX Composite climbed 7.3 per cent (including reinvested dividends) from the start of January through to Dec. 10. This year's winners now face a dilemma. Mr. Rothery says the lucky investors with piles of capital gains fuelled by the manic market might want to lighten up on their high flyers before the eggnog runs out. Taxes can make the timing tricky. You can sell now and pay taxes this year, or wait and defer taxes into the new year.
Most investors lean toward tax deferral in normal times. After all, paying later is usually better than paying early. As a result, stocks with big gains tend to weaken a bit in the early part of January when sellers hit the market. Taxes are widely expected to rise to chip away at the government's debt. Those who delay selling now might wind up paying more to the taxman in the future. Stocks sporting some of the highest total returns over five years in the S&P/TSX Composite are BRP, Ballard Power Systems, Cargojet, Labrador Iron Ore Royalty and Shopify.
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