Alamy There are two times of year when people start thinking about saving money on their tax bill: in the spring, as the April 15 filing deadline approaches, and in December, when we have our last chance to make donations, sell assets and the like. But sometimes, it’s better to get a head-start on tax-saving strategies rather than waiting until the last possible minute to take advantage of them. And one of the easiest techniques to cut your IRS bill is to harvest your tax losses. Because the stock market is up significantly so far in 2013 (even taking into account the recent correction), many investors haven’t started to think about tax-loss selling. But if you have underperforming investments in your portfolio, especially among bonds and bond funds, which have fallen dramatically in price recently, then you’ll have the opportunity to benefit from this strategy — and beat other investors to the punch in the process. Why Tax-Loss Selling Is Off the Radar Last year’s fiscal-cliff drama changed the usual rules on tax strategies. Because of the anticipated tax increases that took effect at the beginning of 2013, many taxpayers actively tried to their taxable income in 2012 in order to reduce the amount of income they’d have to pay higher tax rates on this year. As a result, many taxpayers actually deliberately took tax gains, selling off stock on which they’d earned a profit. But this year, with no further anticipated hikes in tax rates on the table, the standard rules apply, and investors should look to make the most of their tax losses. Why Waiting Isn’t Smart The tax-loss rules give you until the last day of the year to sell shares at a loss and include them on your 2013 tax return. But waiting until then to make tax-loss sales means sacrificing up a couple of valuable benefits. First, harvesting tax losses is popular enough that it can have a marked impact on a stock’s price. If a stock has fallen substantially during the year, those losses often get worse during the fourth quarter as tax-loss sellers dump their shares for whatever the market is willing to pay. Moreover, institutional investors like mutual fund companies often have a different fiscal year, forcing them to consider tax-loss selling by the end of October rather than waiting until the end of the calendar year. Selling early can give you better prices for your stock losers than waiting. Also, selling early lets you buy back your shares within the same year if you want, potentially letting you take advantage of the late sellers. To claim a tax loss, you have to wait for 30 days after your sale before you repurchase shares of the same company. The risk in waiting is that stock prices may rise, as often happens at the beginning of a new year. But by selling early, you can repurchase from late-acting tax-loss procrastinators, potentially paying less than you received when you sold. There Are Limits On Losses Unfortunately, the IRS won’t let you benefit too much from tax losses in any given year. You have the ability to use your losses to offset any capital gains you recognize during the tax year. In addition, you can claim up to $3,000 in additional losses, using them to offset other income such as wages, investment interest, and stock and mutual-fund dividends. But if you have more losses than that, you don’t necessarily lose them forever. The IRS lets you carry those losses forward to future years, allowing you to work down any excess losses gradually. The key, though, is not to let your usual tax procrastination stop you from considering your best tax-loss harvesting strategy right now. Tax savings won’t make up for the pain of those losses, but they will give you an offsetting benefit to help you feel somewhat better about making an investment mistake in the first place.
Best Performing Companies To Own In Right Now: Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc.(WEN)
The Wendy’s Company operates as a quick-service hamburger company in the United States. The company, through its subsidiary, Wendy’s International, Inc., operates as a franchisor of the Wendy’s restaurant system. As of December 26, 2011, the Wendy’s system comprised approximately 6,500 franchise and company restaurants in the United States and the United States territories, as well as in 26 other countries worldwide. The company was formerly known as Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, Inc. and changed its name to The Wendy’s Company in July 2011. The Wendy’s Company was founded in 1884 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ohio.
- [By Hilary Kramer]
Fast food franchisor Wendy’s/Arby’s Group (NYSE: WEN) rallied after its most recent earnings report revealed some optimism on the hoped-for sale of Arby’s and promising new hamburger offerings, but it has since given back all of those gains and more on overall market weakness.
I continue to feel the company is getting back on the right track with its menu changes (its new fries have already been well received), which will increase customer traffic. I like the stock at current prices and expect some of these catalysts to have more of an impact in the second half of the year. There remains the possibility as well that Wendy’s will get acquired.
Best Performing Companies To Own In Right Now: Silver Wheaton Cor Com Npv(SLW.TO)
Silver Wheaton Corp., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a silver streaming company worldwide. The company has 14 long-term silver purchase agreements and 2 long-term precious metal purchase agreements whereby it acquires silver and gold production from the counterparties located in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Greece, Sweden, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Portugal. Silver Wheaton Corp. is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
- [By Glenn]
Silver Wheaton is considered to be one of the most stable silver stocks due to its unique and stable business model.
“They don’t have the risks of excavating and not finding anything,” said Yu Dee Chang, Principal at ACE Investments. “Their costs are fixed. That’s why their profit margin is also fixed. I like this as a more stable play.”
Silver Wheaton’s core approach lies in buying already-excavated ores from miners, then extracting silver from it. The company’s portfolio includes silver streams from Goldcorp’s Peñasquito mine in Mexico and Barrick’s Pascua-Lama project spanning the border of Chile and Argentina.
The company says it currently has 15 silver purchase agreements and two precious metals agreements where it has the right to purchase all or a portion of the silver production at a low fixed cost from high-quality mines located in politically stable regions. Silver Wheaton estimates that it will have exposu re to 40 million silver equivalent ounces of annual production by 2013, from about 23.5 million silver equivalent ounces in 2010.
David Christie of Scotia Capital has a sector outperform rating and one-year, $40 price target for the stock. “Silver Wheaton performed better than any other silver investment including the metal itself year-to-date,” he told investors in late 2010, noting that few silver stocks have outperformed the metal. Christie praises the company for being the best-leveraged and safest operational growth story of the precious metals companies he covers.
Top 5 Small Cap Companies To Invest In Right Now: SMURFIT KAPPA GROUP PLC ORD EUR0.001(SKG.L)
Smurfit Kappa Group Plc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, distributes, and sells paper-based packaging products in Europe and Latin America. It offers paper and board products comprising containerboards, solid and packaging boards, and specialty boards; base materials graphic and printing products; and packaging intermediates, including pre-printed liners, corrugated boards, sheet feedings, Fanfold, and single face corrugated products. The company also provides packaging products, including boxes, trays, cases, and wraps for fresh food packaging, and food and groceries packaging, as well as for the transport of fast-moving consumer goods; retail ready packaging products, such as shelf ready and promotional packaging products, displays, and merchandising units; bag-in-box packaging products; and primary packaging products for food, non-food, and domestic appliances. In addition, it offers postage and mail order, media and books packaging products, relocation pa ckaging, home storage products, and archive boxes; and industrial packaging products for electronic goods and components, durable goods, furniture, medical products, hazardous goods, and heavy duty goods packaging. The company serves customers in packaging concepts, development and design, supply chain management, and eBusiness solutions fields. Smurfit Kappa Group Plc was founded in 1934 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
Best Performing Companies To Own In Right Now: Amlin Ord 25p(AML.L)
Amlin plc engages in underwriting non-life insurance and reinsurance in the Lloyd?s market, Bermuda, and Continental Europe. It provides insurance cover to commercial enterprises; and reinsurance protection to other insurance companies, as well as property and casualty, marine, and aviation insurance. The company?s insurance products cover airlines, airports, aviation products, and space; bloodstock, cargo, offshore energy, fine arts and specie, hull, marine liability, livestock, pleasure crafts, war and allied perils, and yacht; and professional lines, accident and health, auto, binders, energy and industry, and properties. It also offers insurance products for financial institutions; home insurance products; and employers and/or public/products liability products that cover commercial and industrial risks. In addition, the company underwrites commercial properties and professional indemnity, as well as underwrites various commercial motor fleet classes. Further, it wri t es various reinsurance products comprising marine, aviation, and satellite; catastrophe coverage; and proportional reinsurance coverage. The company markets its products through its independent insurance brokers. Amlin plc was founded in 1903 and is based in London, the United Kingdom.
Best Performing Companies To Own In Right Now: SYSWIN Inc.(SYSW)
Syswin Inc. provides real estate service in the People’s Republic of China. It offers real estate sales agency services to property developers relating to new residential properties; and real estate consultancy services, including project consultancy services to developer clients, as well as primary land development consultancy and agency services to primary land developers. It operates in 17 cities in the People’s Republic of China. The company is headquartered in Beijing, the People’s Republic of China.
Best Performing Companies To Own In Right Now: Analog Devices Inc (ADI.O)
Analog Devices, Inc. (Analog Devices), incorporated on January 18, 1965, is engaged in the design, manufacture and marketing of a range of analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing integrated circuits (ICs). The Company produces a range of products, including data converters, amplifiers and linear products, radio frequency (RF) ICs, power management products, sensors based on micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology and other sensors, and processing products, including DSP and other processors, which are designed to meet the needs of a base of customers. The Company’s products are embedded inside many different types of electronic equipment, including industrial process control systems; instrumentation and measurement systems; wireless infrastructure equipment, and aerospace and defense electronics. The Company designs , manufactures and markets a range of ICs, which incorporate analog, mixed-signal and digital signal processing technologies. The Comp any’s product portfolio includes both general-purpose products used by a range of customers and applications, as well as application-specific products. On March 30, 2012, the Company acquired Multigig, Inc.
The Company’s product portfolio includes several thousand analog ICs. The Company’s analog IC customers include original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and customers who build electronic subsystems for integration into larger systems. The Company is a supplier of data converter products. Data converters translate real-world analog signals into digital data and also translate digital data into analog signals. The Company is also a supplier of amplifiers. Amplifiers are used to condition analog signals. The Company provides precision, instrumentation, intermediate frequency/radio frequency (RF), broadband, and other amplifiers. The Company also offers a range of precision voltage references, which are used in a range of applicatio n s. The Company’s analog product line also includes a range! p! ortfolio of RF ICs covering the RF signal chain, from RF function blocks, such as phase locked loops, frequency synthesizers, mixers, modulators, demodulators, and power detectors, to broadband and short-range single chip transceiver solutions.
The Company’s RF ICs support the requirements of cellular infrastructure and a range of applications in the Company’s target markets. Also within the Company’s analog technology portfolio are products, which are based on MEMS technology. This technology enables the Company to build small sensors, which incorporate an electromechanical structure and the supporting analog circuitry for conditioning signals obtained from the sensing element. The Company’s MEMS product portfolio includes accelerometers used to sense acceleration, gyroscopes used to sense rotation, inertial measurement units used to sense multiple degrees of freedom combining multiple sensing types along multiple axis, and MEMS microphones used to sense a udio . The Company’s current revenue from MEMS products is derived from the automotive end market. In addition to the Company’s MEMS products, its other analog product category includes isolators. The Company’s isolators have been designed for applications, such as universal serial bus isolation in patient monitors, where it allows hospitals and physicians to adopt the advances in computer technology to supervise patient health and wirelessly transmit medical records. In smart metering applications, the Company’s isolators provide electrostatic discharge performance. In satellites, where any malfunction can be catastrophic, the Company’s isolators help protect the power system while enabling designers to achieve small form factors. Power management & reference products make up the balance of the Company’s analog sales. Those products, which include functions such as power conversion, driver monitoring, sequencing and energy management, are developed to complement analog sign al ch ain components across core market segments from micro ! power,! e! nergy-s! ensitive battery applications to power systems in infrastructure and industrial applications.
Digital Signal Processing Products
Digital Signal Processing products (DSPs) complete the Company’s product portfolio. DSPs are optimized for numeric calculations, which are essential for instantaneous, or real-time, processing of digital data generated, from analog to digital signal conversion. The Company’s DSPs are designed to be fully programmable and to execute specialized software programs, or algorithms, associated with processing digitized real-time, real-world data. Programmable DSPs are designed to provide the flexibility to modify the device’s function using software. The Company’s DSP IC customers write their own algorithms using software development tools provided by the Company and third-party suppliers. The Company’s DSPs are designed in families of products, which share common architectures and therefore can execute the same softwar e across a range of products. The Company’s customers use the Company’s products to solve a range of signal processing challenges across its core market and segment focus areas within the industrial, automotive, consumer and communications end markets. As an integrated part of the Company’s customers’ signal chain, there are other Analog Devices products connected to its processors, including converters, audio and video codecs and power management solutions.
The Company competes with Broadcom Corporation, Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., Cirrus Logic, Inc., Microchip Technology, Inc., Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Infineon Technologies, ST Microelectronics, Intersil Corporation, Silicon Laboratories, Inc., Knowles Electronics, Texas Instruments, Inc. and Linear Technology Corporation.
Best Performing Companies To Own In Right Now: ChinaNet Online Holdings Inc.(CNET)
ChinaNet Online Holdings, Inc. offers business-to-business integrated Internet service provider services for small and medium enterprises? sales networks in the People?s Republic of China. Its multi-platform advertising network consists of the Website 28.com, an Internet advertising portal; ChinaNet TV, a television production and advertising unit; and bank kiosk advertising unit, which is primarily used as an advertising platform for clients in the financial services industry. The company, through its Internet portal 28.com, enables companies and entrepreneurs to advertise their business information, brands, products, services, and business opportunities, as well as to build sales channels and develop relationships directly with franchisees, sales agents, distributors, and/or resellers. The 28.com also offers campaign management tools, including lead generation and capture, advanced tracking, search engine marketing and optimization, resource scheduling, and content man a gement for the company?s clients. The company, through its ChinaNet TV, creates and distributes television shows comprising advertisements similar to infomercials, as well as promotions for various clients during the allotted time; and produces Web video advertisements for clients to be placed on 28.com. Its bank kiosks provide advertising services and Internet access to perform non-cash banking functions, such as transferring money, purchasing annuities and/or insurance, and paying bills. In addition, it offers cloud-based management tools. As of December 31, 2010, the company provided advertising, marketing, and lead generation services to approximately 1,200 clients in various consumer focused business categories comprising 883 clients. It serves customers in food and beverage; cosmetics and healthcare; footwear, apparel, and garments; home goods and construction materials; and environmental protection equipment industries. The company was founded in 2003 and is headqua r tered in Beijing, China.
Best Performing Companies To Own In Right Now: Bristow Group Inc (BRS)
Bristow Group Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides helicopter services to the offshore energy industry primarily in Europe, West Africa, North America, Australia, and internationally. Its helicopters are used principally to transport personnel between onshore bases and offshore platforms, drilling rigs, and installations, as well as to transport time-sensitive equipment to offshore locations. The company also offers helicopter flight training services to commercial pilots and flight instructors through its Bristow Academy with facilities in Titusville, Florida; Concord, California; New Iberia, Louisiana and Gloucestershire, England. In addition, it provides military training; and helicopter repair, engineering support, aircraft leasing, airport management, and search and rescue services. Bristow Group provides its helicopter services to integrated, national, and independent oil and gas companies. As of March 31, 2011, it operated a fleet of 569 aircraft. The comp any was founded in 1969 and is based in Houston, Texas.