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Robert Gordon's Columns and Posts

The following columns and posts are from Forbes.com, Onwallstreet and InvestmentNews. Below is a list organized by the by the year of publication.

Should you have a question about an article's content or would like more information, click “Contact Us”,  or call us at 212.418.6000.


2018 - Forbes

Dr. Pepper's Giant Dividend Is Coming: Pitfall, opportunity or non-event?


2016 - onwallstreet

A Powerful Tax-Saving Tool for ETFs: If a client were to ask which investment is more tax-friendly, ETFs would come out ahead of open-end mutual funds, even though both are governed and taxed as regulated investment companies.

April 29, 2016

Best Ways to Take the Tax Bite Out of Call Options: Is your client planning to do something as simple as buying a call option on the S&P 500? you may be surprised to learn there are various ways to do that and that each has its own taxation structure.

March 29, 2016

How ETNs Win Over ETFs: You may have a client who is looking for a solid explanation of the difference between ETFs and ETNs. As an advisor, one thing you can tell them is that, while exchange-traded notes have their risks, they can also be much more tax-friendly than ETFs.

February 25, 2016

To Defer or Not to Defer Investment Taxes: Tax rates change over time and deferral could prove to be a loser.

January 27, 2016

New Tax Law's Investment Incentives: PATH made permanent some tax breaks and changed the landscape on REITs.

January 8, 2016

2015 - onwallstreet

Tax Tips To Start The New Year: Advisors have a timely opportunity coming up to help clients plan for a financially successful 2016.

December 23, 2015

Strategies To Help Clients Around The Wash Sale Rule: This is the time of year when advisors focus on tax-loss harvesting for clients.

November 9, 2015

Helping Clients Understand Carried Interest: Your clients may be asking you what all the political noise is about. You should explain that, in reality, hedge fund managers probably enjoy few tax savings from carried interest; it is actually the private equity and venture firms that traditionally have reaped the most tax benefit.

November 1, 2015

Tax Savings On All That Glitters: At times of turbulence in global markets, it is not uncommon for some clients to consider adding gold to their portfolios. Whether that turns out to be a wise decision will be known only in the future.

October 1, 2015

Grab A GRAT Before It's Too Late: An estate tool that is particularly valuable when rates are low is coming under political pressure.

August 1, 2015

Recoup The Tax Hit On Foreign Dividends: There are complications that arise when a client receives a dividend from a company that is headquartered outside the U.S.

July 1, 2015

Tax Saving Strategy For Capital Gains: A Tax arbitrage is a strategy that allows clients to convert one type of income into a more-favorably-taxed type of income.

May 19, 2015

Looking Out For Your Client's 1099: A client sold stock, but weren’t required to report whether the investment had a gain or loss. That makes the form 1099 a good starting point for advisors to help spot last-minute tax filling issues.

April 1, 2015


2015 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

Why President Obama's Estate Tax Proposal Is A Big Deal: President Barack Obama whipped up the class warfare argument with his estate tax proposal in the State of the Union address.

February 6, 2015

New Cost-Basis Rules For Options: This is the third phase of implementing the cost-basis reporting law contained in the 2008 energy act.

January 11, 2015


2014 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

Beginning Of the Year Tax Strategies: When is the best time for clients to fund their retirement plans? One has until April 15, 2015 to contribute to their retirement plan for 2014, but is that optimal?

December 16, 2014

Loss Harvesting Time

November 19, 2014

How Are REIT Dividends Taxed?: REIT distributions can be taxed at the highest rate but they can also be taxed as long term gains if you know the rules.

October 19, 2014

Inversion The Latest Tax-Cutting Strategy: Inversions are just the latest strategy employed by U.S. corporations trying to get out from under the hefty tax burden levied on corporate earnings.

September 23, 2014

More Hedge Fund audits ahead

August 17, 2014

Treasury Ruling Makes Longevity Insurance More Attractive:
The U.S. will now allow an IRA to buy Longevity Insurance.

July 20, 2014

Managing Tax Brackets: Now that we again have so many tax brackets, it's time for a refresher on what these brackets are and how to make the most of them.  

June 17, 2014                                                       

Out-of-State trusts may lose appeal: Over the past few years, we have been asked on numerous occasions about the tax benefits of holding your investments in a trust situated in a state that has no income tax, Such as Nevada and Delaware.

May 20, 2014                             

Foreign dividends can be a minefield: As dividends cross borders, complications arise.

April 29, 2014                                                               

Taking a closer look at tax reform: House Ways and Means Committe Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., has proposed sweeping changes to Internal Revenue Code.                                               

March 9, 2014

Put buying tax complications: Be aware of all the possible tax surprises lurking in the shadows when employing this strategy. 

February 23, 2014

Taxpayers act with enough incentive: The verdict is in. The government can get people to voluntarily pay taxes earlier than they have to.

January 26, 2014


 2013 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

Keep your eyes on the calendar: When it comes to re-characterizations and incentive stock options, timing is critical.

December 15, 2013

Maximize loss harvesting year-round: This tax-efficient strategy can improve returns, as long as it doesn't run afoul of the tax code.

November 11, 2013

Giant dividends: bonanza or tax trap?: Consider different scenarios for owning shares of companies dispersing windfalls to shareholders.

October 20, 2013

Holding periods are a moving target: Minimum time required to hold an investment and qualify for preferential tax treatment has varied.                September 22, 2013

Not all MLP funds created equal: Some go to extraordinary lengths to qualify for preferential treatment under the tax code.

August 25, 2013

Optimizing the use of GRATs: They work best when started in a low-interest-rate environment, such as this one.

July 1, 2013

The Best Way to Play Kinder Morgan: Corporate structure designed for tax-exempt investors may benefit taxable investors as well.

June 16, 2013

Comparing the advantages of SMAs: Many tax benefits not available in mutual funds, but side by side against ETFs, they are lacking.

May 19th, 2013

Looking inside the President's budget: Included are several revenue raisers, including new reforms, old standbys and one big surprise.

April 21, 2013

Another side of the carried-interest debate: Changes being mulled in Congress would affect taxes paid by fund investors, as well as managers

March 24, 2013

Tax reform of financial products?: The idea may be theoretically interesting, but it is too complex and practically unworkable

February 25, 2013

For wealthy, a hard fall off the cliff: The president and Congress are looking at further tax increases to help balance the budget
January 25, 2013


2012 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

The tax lure of MLPs and REITs: Investors should know what they're getting into when they put their money in these alternatives
December 16, 2012

A surefire way to cut taxes for shareholders: By paying dividends in December instead of January, companies can save stockholders a bundle
November 18, 2012

Cap deductions to balance the budget: Both presidential candidates want to limit their value but would go about it differently.
October 21, 2012

The tax implications of special dividends: Familiarization with the complex way in which they're treated is important for investors.

September 23, 2012

Floating NAVs could prove taxing: Money market fund reform would likely result in accounting headaches for investors.

August 26, 2012

An 18% tax rate: If the Bush tax cuts expire, assets held for five years or more could beneift for a 1997 law.

June 18, 2012

Are incentive fees coming to funds?: Prohibitions have been eroding slowly, and the door to hedge-fund like expenses is now open.

May 22, 2012

A better approach to taxing gains?: Paying tax on unrealized capital gains has some advocates, but it is ultimately unworkable.

April 22, 2012

If corporate tax rates were to drop

March 26, 2012


What lurks in the president's budget

February 19, 2012


Now it's goodbye, Mr. MIPS

January 30, 2012


2011 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

Last chance to double up on losses

November 20, 2011


Top marginal tax rates may skyrocket: 'Millionaires' are now expected to shoulder much of the burden of balancing the budget

October 23, 2011


Last chance to re-characterize: For those with losses in converted Roth IRAs, the deadline for undoing 2010 conversions is Oct 17

September 25, 2011


Are your clients traders or investors?: In light of a Massachusetts directive, the after-tax cost of investing hangs on the answer

July 24, 2011


The complexity of ETF options: Key to ascertaining whether they will be taxed 'normally' lies in whether or not they are equities

June 19, 2011


What lurks in some foreign ETFs: Passive foreign investment companies can generate big tax bills if proper reporting isn't filed

May 22, 2011


The Best Way to Own MLPs: Calulating cost basis is such a hassle that many investors prefer receiving a 1099 over a K-1

April 24, 2011


Surprises in state income taxes: Around the country, substantial income is treated very differently by state law

March 27, 2011


Would you like to do the contango?: Don't dance with futures-based exchange-traded funds unless you understand the steps

February 27, 2011


Commodities ETFs can be taxing :With these complex products, an unexpected bill and confusion sometimes may arrive

January 30, 2011


How to start the year off right:New mutual fund tax rules and the end of a Social Security free lunch 

January 2, 2011


2010 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

IRS ruling likely to nix options tactics: Instead of deferring gain, hedge fund investors will have to pay tax at short-term rate

November 28, 2010


Strategies to use if taxes rise next year: Deferring deductions and accelerating income may make sense in bizarre world of hiked rates

November 7, 2010


What if the 2011 tax rate is set late?: Wealthy investors will want to move income forward to this year, saving amount hit by hike

October 3, 2010


When hedging constitutes a sale: Two Tax Court decisions show that certain transactions can have costly consequences

September 5, 2010


What a difference a REIT makes: Weyerhaeuser conversion makes it more tax-efficient, but shareholders took a hit on dividend

August 8, 2010


Why you should sell Weyerhaeuser today:Most taxable investors who wish to hold shares of Weyerhaeuser should probably sell today and buy it back again tomorrow after the stock has gone ex-dividend

July 19, 2010


Carried Interest: Whose ox is getting gored?: The burden will fall on venture capital and leveraged-buyout funds, not hedge funds

June 27, 2010


More options taxation oddities: Not all such investments are similarly taxed, so take advantage when you can

May 30, 2010


Taxes on dividends may nearly triple: Investment income will take a huge hit to help pay for health care reform

May 2, 2010


Look out for hidden swap taxes: Changes will affect U.S. tax-exempt entities that invest overseas

April 4, 2010


The most tax-efficient way to own gold: For the IRS, the investment is a collectible when it is held in the form of coins or bullion

March 7, 2010


Estimated tax void has unintended consequences: Check wills to make sure that there are no surprises; consider accelerating gifts in 2010

February 7, 2010


Proposal to tax transactions is misguided: If punishment is congressman's goal, the average investor, not Wall Street, would pay the price

January 10, 2010


2009 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

Two items to add to January 4 to-do list: The earlier in 2010 your clients exercise incentive stock options or convert to a Roth, the better

November 29, 2009


What to do for clients now and next year: This article is an edited transcript of an October 20, 2009 webcast, Tax Planning: What to do for clients now and in 2010

November 8, 2009


Harvest losses without hurting alpha: The time to consider wash sale strategies for the 2009 tax year is before Thanksgiving

November 1, 2009


GRATs: Make hay while the sun shines: If Obama has his way, grantor remainder annuity trusts will become less attractive

October 4, 2009


Pity the poor folks making $1M plus: They already pay most of the taxes, and it's going to get worse if the feds enact health "surtax"

September 6, 2009


New option for employee options: Recent SEC rule change allows unexercised ones to act as collateral in hedging transactions

August 9, 2009


Two new munis and swaps recap: Build America Bonds offer investors taxable alternatives; watch out for swaps withholding

June 28, 2009


Investors and Obama's tax plan The specifics are released in the Treasury Department's "Green Book", and it could get ugly

May 31, 2009


When is a dividend not a dividend?: Sometimes a distribution turns out to be a return of capital, which has its advantages

May 3, 2009


Some good news for Madoff victims: The IRS has issued timely guidance on how to claim "safe harbor" for theft losses

April 5, 2009


Making most of excess capital losses: Here are some ways to create gains through timely sales of fixed-income investments

March 8, 2009


Say goodbye to money funds: February 15, 2009


Wash sales and index investing: Some lessons from a robust loss-harvesting season

January 11, 2009


2008 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

Harvesting losses with options: There are ways to take losses with minimal disruption to alpha

November 23, 2008


Kudos to the tax writers: The bailout demanded quick answers, and the government responded admirably

October 26, 2008


Dividends, withholding, offshore funds: Congress takes on 'enhancements' created by Wall Street to minimize taxes

September 28, 2008


The tax impact of selling calls: The sales can bring in good money, but watch out for tax traps

September 1, 2008


New IRS rulings affect investors: There are ways to take losses with minimal disruption to alpha

August 4, 2008


Are deferrals worth it?: Deferring into a higher tax rate makes sense with double-digit returns or long time frames

June 30, 2008


Harvest your capital gains?: Do the math when considering paying taxes now rather than later

June 2, 2008


Why pick on exchange traded notes?: None of the proposed 'fixes' would solve the tax issues surrounding ETNs

May 5, 2008


How fees can trigger stealth taxes: Tax rules treat investment fees in a variety of ways, which might affect portfolios

April 7, 2008


Drawing down the retirement money: Upcoming conference to consider tax-efficient ways to manage withdrawal of assets

March 10, 2008


When ETFs pass along gains: Exchange traded funds can minimize taxes, but that isn't always the case

February 11, 2008


Now is the time to exercise ISOs: Don't forget to value shares that are purchased before year-end

January 14, 2008 


2007 - The Tax Conscious Adviser articles

Do-it-yourself structured notes

November 26, 2007


It's harvest time - for tax losses

October 29, 2007


Subprime crisis breeds opportunity:

October 1, 2007


The magic of ETNs: Tax deferral

July 9, 2007


A possible wallop for master limited partnerships

April 20, 2007


Articles are provided for information purposes only.  They are not intended to be an offer to engage in any securities transactions or to provide specific financial, legal or tax advice. Articles may have been rendered partly inaccurate by events that have occurred since publication.  Investors should consult their advisers before acting on any topics discussed herein.

Options involve risk
and are not suitable for all investors Before engaging in an options transaction, investors must review the booklet "Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options".



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