Why 'capital gains selling' is totally meaningless
If you want to sell in 2012, realize the gains and hold the stock, you just sell it and buy it back immediately. All the IRS wants to see is the sale price and date of sale. This is a 'fear tactic'. Nothing more.
I agree to an extent, but upon selling, the seller would need to pay the capital gains taxes which could be a sizable amount of money. Theoretically, the seller would only be able to purchase 85% (not exact since taxes are based on profits, but good for argument sake) since 15 % would need to be paid to uncle Sam.
Let's say for instance that someone sold $1,000,000 in Apple profits. That person would now have to pay $150, 000 in taxes. This is a lot of "extra" money to pay if you didn't have to sell.
Well, you actually agree totally with what I am saying. The investor pays a lower capital gains tax in 2012 and 'protects' the current gains from a higher tax rate. Then simply repurchases and starts with a new basis.
It would only apply to those who have a capital gain but want to hold at the current price. It would apply to any stock. XOM, GE, etc. My point is that the news casters are playing this up to be a major downside risk in the market. If you want to sell a stock and get out of it, then sell. If you want to keep the stock and think it will go higher, just do the SELL/BUY in 2012 to protect the current gain from higher capital gains taxes in 2013.