Distribution Time

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It’s this time of the year when mutual funds and ETFs declare their year-end distributions. If you use any of the online services like Yahoo, MarketWatch, etc. to track your gains and losses, you have to make adjustments when dividends or distributions become effective.

Otherwise, you may be surprised to see that a fund you are tracking is showing sharply reduced gains or even losses when the NAV is reduced by the amount of the distribution.

More importantly, if you track your trailing sell stops, you need to reduce your “high price” by the distribution as I talked about in Honing In On Bond Funds And Sell Stops. If you don’t, you may get a sell signal when in fact none has occurred.

I have also noticed that some of the historical data providers like YahooFinance have been slow in posting year end distributions. To overcome that problem, be sure to check other resources as well. I did that this weekend and found that Morningstar was far more up to date than Yahoo.

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Comments 2

  1. Hi Ulli,
    Speaking of distributions, I have a question.I have an account in two different brokerage houses, and own the same stock in each accounts. A distribution was paid on Dec. 15th and one brokerage account posted the monies on the 16th and the other posted it on the 23rd. Do I have any recourse, other then complain and/or close the account? (I did call and talk to them with no real satisfaction)
    Thank you for your time,

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