Q. I’ve invested substantially in gold. Does the wash sale rule apply to gold transactions? M.H., Burlington, Vt.
A. Not usually. The wash sale rule, which prohibits you from deducting a loss on the sale of securities if you reacquire substantially identical securities within 30 days of the sale, doesn’t apply to hard assets like gold or currencies. It’s strictly a rule covering sales of securities. But you could trigger a wash sale if you sold gold mining stocks and buy back comparable securities within the 30-day period.
Tip: Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invest in gold are also subject to the wash sale rule.