Many financial planners may be selling some U.S. stocks these days, either to reflect caution as major equity indexes reach record highs or to rebalance portfolios by thinning overweight positions.

Yet after a six-year bull market, many clients hold appreciated equities, so sales trigger taxable gains. With the top tax rate on long-term capital gains at 20% (up from 15%), in addition to the 3.8% surtax on net investment income for wealthier investors, taking gains can even be more taxing.

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