If your taxable income is under $ 72,500 for couples or $36,250 as a single, you will still qualify in 2013 for reduced capital gains rates on your stock sale gains. Gains will still be taxed at 0.00 for those in the 10 or 15 percent bracket. Those over those income amounts listed above will have the balance of their gains taxed at 15 or possibly 20 percent.
Also, the problem with buying mutual funds late in the year is that funds generally pay dividends late in the year and sometimes the share price falls just after payoff. Since you’ll pay tax on the dividends, and you aren’t better off because the fund price fell, you are paying unneeded tax to the IRS. You are generally better off waiting on your purchase until after the fund pays out it’s dividends and capital gains for the year. Check with the fund to see when the payout date will be.