“Don’t let the Tax Tail wag the Investment Dog”

“Don’t let the Tax Tail wag the Investment Dog”

Ok wait what..? I know I know allow me to explain what I mean by this ridiculous sounding sentence.

“Don’t let the tax tail wag the investment dog” is a phrase I heard repeated across our trading floor from one of our Senior Partners during my first years in portfolio management. I was understandably confused by this insane sentence, but I did not want to be “that guy” and ask. What I went on to learn was that he meant that we could not allow tax consequences to dictate our portfolio management strategy. Managing a portfolio in a tax efficient matter was critical, however there would be moments when a portfolio would need to be rebalanced and that sale would trigger capital gains taxes. In essence he acknowledged that paying taxes was of course never fun, but that we could not allow that to intrude into our portfolio management.

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A Guide to MLPs

Investors seeking dividend yield have conventionally employed traditional fixed income investments for this portion of their portfolio. In today’s low interest rate environment, filling this part of the portfolio has become more and more difficult. Given the inverse relationship that bonds have with interest rates, a rising rate environment is suboptimal for conventional fixed income. This has lead investors to seek out other types of arrangements to generate cash flow.

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