Insights from MYeCFO

Articles that illustrate our thinking and experience in the areas of investments, tax strategy, and wealth management.




Happy Tax Day!


Happy Tax Day, everyone! We learn a great deal from the work we do alongside our clients and their respective tax preparers. This article descripes top 10 lessons learned in a recent tax season, including how challenging filing error-free and efficient ("no money left on the table") returns can be.


3 Portfolios


Most wealth-generating activities can be classified into three “portfolios": A, B, and C. In baseball speak, the “A” Portfolio is focused on hitting "home runs”—they will be few and far between, but when they come, they can change the game and an invidual’s fate. The “B” Portfolio is about "hitting singles and doubles"—nothing too cute or exciting, but a necessary strategy for sustainable wins. The “C” Portfolio is analogous to playing baseball in the backyard for fun—no expectations of winning a championship, but a hobby that lets you enjoy the game.

The Government's Loophole


In America, our politicians have adopted a dual system of calculating taxes that is confusing and often creates unintended consequences. Like many other unfortunate taxes, the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is here to stay. The purpose of this article is to demystify how the AMT works and provide some strategies to managing it, if not avoiding it altogether.

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Against the Grain


In the early 1600s, the Dutch were introduced to a beautiful and rare flower: the tulip. The flower became the focus of investors and speculators, and by 1637, the price of tulips had reached an all-time high. Purchasing tulip contracts seemed easy money, and the populace rushed to join the action. But even quicker than its ascent ...

Year-End Tax Strategies


Someone once said: “A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.” I believe the goal of every individual should be to pay the lowest tax rate possible, yet transfer the largest sum possible to the IRS and other taxing authorities – lots of taxes generally coincide with lots of income. The tax rate is a controllable factor that ...

Not Made in the U.S.A.


I am proud to be an American. My family came to this country from Mexico to pursue opportunities not offered to them by their homeland, and I have benefited tremendously from their effort, risk taking, and sacrifice. America is a place where an individual – through hard work, persistence, and a little luck – can achieve...

Entreprenurial Tax Strategy


One of the most inefficient ways to make money is to be an employee and only earn regular wages. Limited upside potential on salary and bonus increases, exposure to the highest marginal tax rates (salary is generally taxed at ordinary income tax rates), and the inability to control taxable income are some of the many reasons...

Betting Against the House


Many people enjoy playing Blackjack, Craps, Slots, Roulette, and other games at a casino. It’s exciting – and sometimes addicting – to try one’s luck at a large payout, even if such a payout comes after many losses. A gambler can implement numerous tactics (e.g., don’t hit when you’ve got 17 in Blackjack)to improve his chances of winning. However...

A Glass Half Empty.


When it comes to investing, most people enjoy picturing the rosy scenario.How much wealth will I accumulate? What will my net worth be in 20 years? What nice toys will I buy with my investment gains? No one ever jumps into an investment thinking that it will yield a negative return. Putting money to work...

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing


If I were to buy a Big Mac, fries, and a medium Coke at my local McDonald’s, it would cost $6.58. But if I buy the combo meal that includes all three items it would cost me $5.99, which translates to about a 10% savings. As consumers, we have been trained to believe that purchasing the “combo” is always...

The Killer Fees


This year, millions of Americans will spend countless hours looking for the best deal on cars, houses, TVs, detergent, bananas, and almost every other budget item imaginable. Companies like Groupon, Ebay, and Amazon have flourished partly due to our insatiable desire to find a bargain.When dealing...

Investing for Tax Efficiency


Taxes are boring. I’ve never been to a party where the words, “Let me tell you about my exciting Schedule A deductions.” were uttered. It’s much more fun to talk about great stock picks or investments. Filling out complex forms to send to the IRS or state governments is no idea of fun for most people...

Underperformance Fees


2013 was a great year for the capital markets – the S&P 500 Index returned over 32%! It’s heaven for stock investors – many feel richer, smarter, and more risk seeking. Some will brag about their great investment picks in 2013; others will shower their financial advisors with praise for being so “smart” and “giving” them such...

The Tax “Triple Play” of Giving to Charity


Every year, many families make significant donations to their favorite charities or causes, particularly during the Holiday Season. In our experience, tax incentives are not generally strong drivers behind the reasons to give back. However, as a firm that focuses on maximizing financial efficiency, we strongly...

Rent Vs Buy: True Economic Cost Analysis


When working with MYeCFO clients, we find that in many cases the financial analysis of buy vs. rent is miscalculated – some costs are ignored and some savings are overestimated. The standard approach is to focus on comparing cash flows, but our team prefers a concept we term True Economic Cost...

Tax Loss Harvesting: An Introduction


One of the best and least-utilized ways to reduce tax liabilities is to implement a technique called Tax Loss Harvesting. At a basic level, the approach involves selling securities that have lost significant value to offset gains from other investments and/or to reduce up to $3,000 in ordinary income.

College Savings


Many parents today are concerned about the rapidly increasing cost of college. Although no one can predict what the exact cost of a university degree will be in 18 or so years, proper planning is essential. There are several types of accounts used to build up college funds with varying degrees of costs, flexibility, and tax savings. Most of these solutions do no..

Bonds vs. Bond Funds


Many investors prefer to hold individual bonds instead of bond mutual funds or ETFs. This results in lower diversification, higher risk, and usually higher fees. We recommend that clients use bond mutual funds and/or ETFs as the more efficient choice. In late 2012, a family who is now a MYeCFO client met with an investment adviser from a different firm for a free...

Stock Mutual Fund Efficiency

The idea for launching MYeCFO was conceived from our years of witnessing individuals paying high fees for financial products and services where cheaper – and often more effective – alternatives existed. Although one can apply the concept of effic...