Tracking Your Basis is Worth the Work

Knowing the amount of money you invested in a stock can help you hold on to more of a gain or make the best of a loss.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was originally published in the October 2010 issue of Kiplinger's Retirement Report. To subscribe, click here.

The time will come when you want, or need, to sell shares of stock or a mutual fund to raise cash or move to a new investment. You can hold onto more of any gain, or make the best of any loss, if you keep an eye on the tax consequences of the sale. That means knowing your cost basis.

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Susan B. Garland
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Susan Garland is the former editor of Kiplinger's Retirement Report, a personal finance publication whose subscribers are retirees and those approaching retirement. Before joining Kiplinger in 2006, Garland was a freelance writer whose work appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Modern Maturity (now AARP The Magazine), Fortune Small Business and other publications. For 12 years, Garland was a Washington-based correspondent for BusinessWeek, covering the White House, national politics, social policy and legal affairs. Garland is a graduate of Colgate University.