Author Topic: Help me liquidate my brokerage account--is there a "smart" way to do this?  (Read 1558 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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My wife and I are looking at buying a house in the next 2 to 6 months, and our downpayment (and most of our emergency fund as well) is mostly locked up in stocks in a brokerage account. Is there any way that is better or worse to sell off the stocks, or should I just sell all of it? I'm thinking the taxes are the taxes and I'm paying them one way or another, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.

Most of the money is in Vanguard ETF's if it makes any difference.


  • Walrus Stache
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Taxes are taxes. Except if you've held the stocks less than a year--then it's cheaper if you don't realize the gains until the year has passed (long term capital gains instead of short term).


  • Bristles
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Agree with forummm, try to wait until they pass the year mark if you can (sell oldest first). You will get a better tax rate on the long-term sale. 


  • Bristles
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I did this recently. Although thankfully (and unfortunately) the performance of my brokerage account was essentially flat. So the tax burden is minimized.

Agree with those above that taxes are taxes and you can't really get around paying them, if you have a variety of stocks and some are losers take a look into Tax Loss Harvesting and see if you can compensate for some of your gains.


  • Walrus Stache
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If you don't anticipate the need to sell all of your shares, start by selling any lots that have gone down in value, then sell the ones with minimal gains, then sell the ones with larger gains last. You're right that you'll owe the tax on these eventually, but deferring this cost as long as possible does add real value.