Sahil Vakil, CFP®, CFA® MYRA Wealth

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About Sahil Vakil, CFP®, CFA®

Sahil Vakil is the Founder & CEO of MYRA Wealth – a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) in NY/NJ that provides Personal Finance services to International & Multicultural individuals in the United States – a large majority of whom are 1st & 2nd generation immigrants.

As a 1st Generation Immigrant himself, Sahil is on a mission to make MYRA Wealth the “home away from home” for this vibrant and thriving International & Multicultural community. “Aliens,” as he (and the IRS code) lovingly calls them, are the heartbeat of America, and Sahil seeks to make a meaningful impact in their lives.

Sahil currently holds several leadership roles in the Financial Planning and Investment Management industry, including serving on the Advisory Board at XYPN, the Diversity & Inclusion Committee(s) at NAPFA, ACP & XYPN, and the Pro Bono Committee at FPA. He also serves as a Mentor on the CFP Board Mentor Program, as an Experimental Partner on the CFA Institute Driving Change initiative, and as a Volunteer to the IRS VITA Program. He was recently accepted into the Forbes New York Business Council, and was recently named as a 40 Under 40, by InvestmentNews. Finally, Sahil is among a few select entrepreneurs in this world, that have been selected by Y Combinator (a world-renowned American accelerator) to participate in their YC Start Up School program.

Prior to MYRA Wealth, Sahil served as a Management Consultant to the Financial Services industry, advising CEOs and CFOs at Fortune 500 firms on Business Strategy and Financial Management. Sahil holds an MBA from The Wharton School, a Masters in Electrical (& Aerospace) Engineering from USC, and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering (& Computer Science) from the University of Mumbai. He is also a CFA Charter holder and a CFP Certificate holder.

Outside of MYRA Wealth, Sahil is an avid cricket fan and enjoys traveling the world with his wife and daughter (Myra). Fun Fact: Sahil & his wife were cast on HGTV’s House Hunters: ‘Buying on a Budget in Manhattan’ episode.

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Recently Published

A Guide on Netflix's Benefits Program

October 26, 2020


Netflix offers the unique opportunity to earn stock options, or the chance to buy Netflix stock at a lower market price. They also offer an ESPP and 401(k). Netflix believes this enhances an employee’s benefits, giving you the chance to invest in the company on your terms, and when the price is right.

Related Article | The Finance Dictionary: Learn the jargon your Finance friends speak!

What is the Netflix Employee Stock Purchase Plan??

Netflix gives employees two ways to earn stock options. Netflix automatically provides free stock options equal to five percent of your salary annually. You may also choose to supplement your options by directing a portion of your salary (you determine how much) you want to invest in stock options yourself.

Please note, stock options are NOT stocks. They are the option to buy stocks at a specified price. You must exercise the option to buy the stocks at a price lower than the current market price (if applicable). You can accumulate as many stock options as you want and exercise them when the Netflix price increases enough that you’ll see an immediate sizable profit.

Netflix can’t tell you when to exercise your options or make you exercise them - the choice is yours. If you aren’t sure about what to do, don’t hesitate to reach out to your tax advisor or financial advisor for assistance.

Related Article | The Ultimate Guide on Equity Compensation and Taxation

Things You Need to Know About Netflix Employee Stock Purchase Plan

First, you should know how many options you receive and how.

Every month there is a ‘Grant Day,’ which is the first trading day of the month. This is the day you receive your allocated options for that month, including your ‘free’ options and any supplemental options you’ve chosen.

Here’s a simple way to figure it out:

Take your salary and multiply it by 5%. For example, if you make $60,000, your annual allocation is $3,000 or $250 per month. Next, add any money you’ll contribute each month. For this example, let’s say $500. 

Your monthly allocation is $750. Next, you need the Netflix closing stock price on the day before grant day. The option cost is 40 percent of that stock price. Let’s say the stock price is $175, your option price would be 40 percent of $175 or $70. 

Use the following calculation:

$750/$70 = 10 options 

If your calculation turns up a fractional share of options, Netflix rounds down, but you don’t lose the options. The fractional part rolls over to the next month. 

Related Article | 8 Tips If You're Being Compensated With Incentive Stock Options (ISOs)

If you work hourly, you are only eligible for the optional allocation, not the free allocation.

Options aren’t a requirement to buy the stock - they give you the option to buy them if you wish to exercise it. You choose when to exercise your option, but should do it when you’d make the most profits. Since your free options are based on the current trading price (in our example $175), you benefit if the stock is trading at a price higher than $175.

You should base your stock purchase with supplemental options on the stock’s current price when granted plus your contribution per share. If you contributed $75 per share, you’d only profit when Netflix stock is more than ($175 + $75) $250.

The good news is that your stock options don’t expire if you stop working for Netflix. They are generally good for another ten years. 

Related Article | What Is The Difference Between A 401K And An IRA?

Netflix Stock Purchase Plan Vesting Schedule

All employees are immediately vested in the options they receive. In other words, you can exercise your option the day you receive them if you wish. There is no rule as to when you must redeem them, though.

Understanding Your Tax Impacts as a Netflix Employee

If you buy supplemental options, you don’t pay taxes on the funds when you purchase the options. You pay taxes when you exercise your option to buy the stock. You pay taxes on the difference between the exercise price (option price) and the current market price of Netflix stock.

Understanding Your Netflix 401k Match

Netflix also offers a generous 4 percent salary match on your 401K. They match dollar-for-dollar. So, for example, if you make $100,000 per year, Netflix matches up to $4,000 in contributions. 

Related Article | 5 Things to Know About Your Restricted Stock Units

Take Advantage of Your Chance to Own Netflix Stock

Netflix puts the ball in your court when determining how and when to invest in the company. You earn stock options each year based on your salary and can continually invest more in the company, either just with your free options or by allocating further investments into the company.

Combining the stock options with your dollar-for-dollar 401K match, Netflix offers attractive benefits on top of their top-of-the-market salaries, making it an attractive company to consider. 

MYRA provides personal finances for immigrants.

To learn more, Click Here. To get started, Click Here.

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Why Open A Brokerage Account in the US?

October 19, 2020


You can’t survive on savings alone. Investing is the only way to build future financial wealth, with or without your job. It’s important that everyone, including immigrants, open a brokerage account in the US and take advantage of the many financial benefits investing in the United States has to offer. 

Related Article | The Finance Dictionary: Learn the jargon your Finance friends speak!

What is a Brokerage Account?

A brokerage account is an account you open with a financial firm. You may open a digital account (work with a robo-advisor) or an account with a human advisor, which is more feasible for most immigrants.

A brokerage account allows you to purchase investments, such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds. Investors may open a variety of accounts including taxable and tax-advantaged accounts (retirement accounts) depending on your goals. Your investment advisor should help you decide which works best for your income, current financial situation, and future goals.

When you open a brokerage account, your broker (computer or person) manages your investments, making trades upon your request, reallocating your portfolio if it deviates from your chosen allocation, and helping you determine the right steps given your financial goals.

Related Article | How To Start Investing As an Immigrant

How Do Taxable Brokerage Accounts Differ from IRAs and Roth IRAs?

Two terms you’ll hear talked about a lot when choosing a brokerage account are taxable and retirement accounts. 

Taxable accounts (as the name suggests) are taxable. You don’t pay taxes when you invest or buy the assets, but when you sell them, you’ll pay taxes. This is because you earn income when you sell your investments and all income incurs taxes.

Your tax liability differs based on a variety of factors including your current tax bracket (which is based on your household income), and the type of capital gains you earn. If you buy and sell an asset within a year - the profits or capital gains are taxed as ordinary income or just like the income you earned from your job.

If you buy and hold, which is often recommended for the largest profits, you may take advantage of long-term capital gains, which are often taxed at a lower percentage. 

IRAs and Roth IRAs are tax-advantaged accounts or retirement accounts. Unlike taxable accounts, they have tax breaks either when you contribute or when you retire. Here’s the difference:

  • IRA - You get a tax break the year you contribute. You may contribute up to $6,500 in 2020 and deduct the full amount from your taxable income. Your earnings grow tax-deferred, which means you pay taxes on the contributions and earnings when you withdraw them during retirement (after age 59 ½). If you’re in a lower tax bracket when you retire, you pay fewer taxes.

  • Roth IRA - You don’t get a tax break when you contribute, but your contributions and earnings grow tax-free. As long as you wait until you are at least 59 ½ years old before you withdraw the funds, you pay no taxes.

The experts at MYRA Wealth can help you determine which investment account is right for you based on your financial status, goals, and income.

Related Article | What Is The Difference Between A 401K And An IRA?

9 Reasons to Open a Brokerage Account in the United States

1. There are multiple ways to invest.

The US market has opportunities for everyone to invest how they want. Whether you are a conserative investor and just want to invest in risk-free bonds or you are an aggressive investor and want to invest in the stock market, commodities, or futures, there are plenty of opportunities.

2. Equities usually beat inflation.

There’s no guarantee, but historically equities beat inflation. This is crucial for long-term wealth and growth. If you don’t beat inflation, you lose purchasing power over the years, making it hard to keep up. Investing in equities helps with this issue.

3. Your earnings compound.

There’s no better way to grow your money than compounded earnings. Every dollar you invest today will be worth a lot more next year than the money you contribute tomorrow. Take advantage of compounded earnings as quickly as you can.

4. You can reduce your taxable income.

A large part of building wealth is minimizing your tax liabilities. Investing the right way means lowering your taxable income, paying less taxes, and keeping more money in your pocket.

Related Article | When Is It OK To Withdraw Money Early from Your 401K?

5. The US market is efficient.

Emerging markets have their time in the spotlight, but it’s often short-lived. US markets have the efficiency and stability to back them up, making it a worthwhile investment no matter your nationality.

6. Brokers can help you diversify your investments.

Having a knowledgeable broker, like MYRA Wealth on your side, helps you diversify your investments. MYRA specialists show you the many options at your disposal, explaining the risk in each, and helping you choose the investments that align with your goals, yet diversify your portfolio.

7. Many American companies pay dividends.

Working with a reputable broker, you’ll learn how to handle your dividends. Whether you reinvest them or cash them out - you’ll have options when you work with an investment specialist who has your best interests in mind.

8. Brokerages are insured by the SIPC.

Investing means taking risk, but not when you use a reputable broker like MYRA Wealth. SIPC insurance protects you should a company go under (it doesn’t cover natural losses from a declining market). SIPC insurance protects each account up to $500,000 should a company close or you become a victim of fraudulent activity.

9. Working with a cross-border expert is important.

The right US broker will have cross-border expertise so you minimize your tax liabilities and currency risk. The specialists at MYRA Wealth specialize in immigrant investing and are here for you every step of the way. 

Related Article | The Tax Trick That Could Get An Extra $56,000 Into Your Roth IRA Every Year

Open your Brokerage Account Today

The longer you wait to open a brokerage account, the more money you lose. Every day that you aren’t invested, is a day you lose money. Let the experts at MYRA help you reach your financial goals. Whether you’ve never invested before or you want to try new tactics, we’ve got you covered. We work closely with immigrants, helping them manage their personal finances, and most importantly their investments.

Let’s get you started on the path to financial freedom today. Let’s explore your options for a US brokerage account, and set you on the path to financial freedom. 

MYRA provides personal finances for immigrants.

To learn more, Click Here. To get started, Click Here.

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How To Start Investing As an Immigrant

October 12, 2020


Learning how to start investing is one of the most powerful ways to set your family up for financial success. As an immigrant, you have many investment options in the US. We help you find a large number of investment options for both aggressive and conservative investors to realize financial wealth.

Related Article | The Finance Dictionary: Learn the jargon your Finance friends speak!

What is Investing?

Investing means buying an asset in the hopes that it grows in the future. The phrase we live by is ‘buy low and sell high.’ For example, if you buy a stock in a company, you buy ownership in it. If you buy stocks when they are priced low and sell them after they grow in retirement, you’ll walk away with capital gains or profits.

If you buy stock high and its price falls, you’ll have a loss, but losses are often offset by gains. And you don't realize those losses unless you sell. This may help your tax liability and is one of the main reasons investors should always diversify their investments or spread their money out over a variety of investments.

Stocks aren’t the only way to invest. You can invest in bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and even real estate. Bonds are a more conservative investment, especially if you invest in government or corporate bonds - you almost always earn your money back, but your earnings are usually lower than stock investments because there’s little risk involved.

If you want to invest in stocks, but don’t want the risk of investing directly in a single company, consider ETFs (exchange-traded funds) or mutual funds, both of which are diversified investments in multiple companies and sometimes industries. The diversification is done for you, which is great for beginning investors. 

Related Article | 11 Investment Risks You Need To Watch Out For In Your Portfolio

Why Should You Invest Your Money?

Investing helps grow your money in ways that no other method can. You work hard for your money, but it may not be enough to fund your future endeavors, whether we’re talking about seeing your children through adulthood, buying a house, or retiring.

Immigrants especially should invest to build wealth. Many immigrants come to the US to pursue education and employment opportunities. They also come here to fulfill their dream of building wealth and creating financial freedom. 

While saving money is great - it will never compete with the returns you could earn when you invest. Savings accounts provide minimal returns but have little to no risk. Investing requires some risk, but provides ample returns.

Related Article | Top 10 Immigrant Money Questions

Types of Investment Accounts

As you learn how to start investing, you’ll hear various investment account types. Each has different tax liabilities, contribution amounts allowed, and minimum deposit requirements. The three main investment account options include:

  • Taxable brokerage accounts - You contribute funds after paying taxes to your taxable accounts. You can invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. You can even invest in real estate funds or commodities. There are no tax advantages and you pay taxes on all capital gains (profits) while losses offset your tax liability.

  • IRA - An Individual Retirement Account is a tax-advantaged account. You receive a tax deduction for all funds you contribute to your IRA, up to $6,000 per year in 2020 ($7,000 age 50 or over) if you're eligible. Your earnings grow tax-deferred. This means you pay taxes when you withdraw the funds during retirement. You cannot withdraw funds (without a penalty) until age 59 ½. Most people are in a lower bracket during retirement, which means they owe fewer taxes.

  • Roth IRA - This is a version of an Individual Retirement Account with different tax rules. Instead of receiving the tax break when you contribute, you receive it when you withdraw the funds. The earnings grow tax-free. When you withdraw the funds you don’t pay taxes, which may provide more funds during the time you need them most. Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) needs to be within certain limits to be eligible to contribute.

Related Article | What Is The Difference Between A 401K And An IRA?

How to Start Investing

The easiest way to start investing is to start now. It doesn’t matter if you have $5 or $500, start as soon as you can.

  1. Decide how much you’re comfortable investing and set it aside each month. Set up an automatic transfer from your bank account if you can, this eliminates the risk of not skipping a month or two.

  1. Choose an investment account. IRAs, Roth IRAs, and taxable investment accounts are all great options depending on your goals. 

  1. Choose an investment strategy. Consider why you’re investing. Is it for long-term savings, such as retirement, or something more short-term, such as saving for a home?

  2. Choose your options. There are many investment options including stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and even real estate investment funds.

Related Article | The Tax Trick That Could Get An Extra $56,000 Into Your Roth IRA Every Year

5 Investing Considerations You Must Know

  1. If you invest in stocks, you may earn dividends in addition to the capital gains earned when the stock grows

  1. It’s best to try to mimic the market (S&P 500 usually) rather than beat it. The market usually turns a 7 - 8% earnings profit over 10 years.

  1. Investing should be a long-term vision, don’t expect overnight gains, it takes time and patience.

  1. Don’t make emotional investment decisions. It’s easy to pull out of the market when things go bad, but that can be one of the worst investment decisions.

  1. Investing can far outweigh the outcome of saving money. Immigrants often need to build wealth and investing is the best way to do it.

Related Article | Can I Roll an RRSP into an IRA?

Is a Green Card, Citizenship, or Social Security Number Required?

There isn’t a federal law mandating immigrants to have a green card or citizenship to start investing. But since you must use a broker to invest, check with your individual broker. Some require citizenship or a social security number and some don’t.

What Documents and Requirements are in Place for Immigrants to Invest? 

It’s easy to start investing as an immigrant. You’ll need a permanent address in the United States and proof of employment.

Some brokers also require an identification number. If you choose not to apply for a social security number, apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number, which you’ll need to file your taxes. This may make up for the lack of a social security number and open more doors for you.

Related Article | The EB5 Investor Program: How Immigrants Make America Great Again!

Which Immigrants Are Not Allowed to Invest in the United States?

Most immigrants can invest in the United States since there really aren’t citizenship regulations. However, if you are from a country known for money laundering or who has been sanctioned by the US government, you may face more difficulties.

What Happens to Immigrants' Investments if they Leave the U.S.?

Every brokerage is different. Contact your brokerage to find out if you can manage your investments from abroad or if you need to. Some do not allow you to place transactions on your account while abroad and others don’t even allow you to log in. It can vary depending on your broker.

Related Article | What To Do With Your 401(k) If You Move Back To Your Home Country

Benefits of Investing with MYRA Wealth

MYRA Wealth is a multicultural and international financial advisory company that provides access to financial advisors when and where you need them. MYRA advisors are international and multicultural as well and can help you with your investment needs. We are a fiduciary which means we operate in your best interests. We don’t work on commission, but rather always make sure we set you up to achieve your financial goals. 

Learn How to Start Investing Today

If you’re ready to invest, don’t delay. The faster you start, the quicker your money can start growing. We’ll help you learn how to best invest your money so that you realize gains, reach your financial goals and understand the importance of financial wealth. 

MYRA provides personal finances for immigrants.

To learn more, Click Here. To get started, Click Here.

Read the full post →

Ideal Clients

  • Gen X
  • Gen Y/Millennials
  • Graduate Degree
  • Immigrants

Ways Advisor Charges

  • Monthly Fee
  • Quarterly Fee
  • Flat Fee
  • Assets Under Management

Fee Options

  • Monthly Fee: $250+
  • Quarterly Fee: $900+
  • Flat Fee: $3,000+/engagement
  • AUM: 0.3%

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