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Ep #010: Financial Literacy and Investing in Real Estate with George Bchara

Syria

George Bchara has been a chief accounting officer and vice president of Conn's Inc. since December of 2016. A certified public accountant and a CFA charter holder, George earned an MBA in finance and entrepreneurial finance from the Wharton School and a bachelor's in accounting and finance from Florida State University.

In this episode, George shares his experience growing up in a multicultural household and as a dual citizen of both the United States and Syria. Listen in to hear the lessons he learned about money in his early years, his take on how the education system in the U.S. is lacking in terms of teaching financial literacy, and why he’s interested in investing in real estate in the future.

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You'll Learn In Today's Episode:

  • George’s experience growing up in a multicultural household.
  • Early lessons he learned about money.
  • What he says is often misunderstood among people who come to the U.S. from countries with less developed financial systems.
  • His chief sources for financial information.
  • How he defines success.
  • The most important thing money gives him today.
  • What he would do with unlimited money.
  • A major thing the U.S. education system lacks.
  • What personal finance topics George is interested in today.
  • His best and worst financial decisions.
  • The rules he follows with his money.
  • What he wants to be remembered for.

Ideas Worth Sharing:

 "I think a clear deficiency in our education system is teaching financial literacy in schools." - George Bchara

"As I get older, the impact of taxes on wealth creation becomes more significant, so understanding the tax planning strategies and structuring overall portfolio tax efficiently is a super important thing to be thinking about." - George Bchara

"I think a lot of people focus on the expense side of things. How do you control expenses? How do you spend less? How do you save more? I think that in my career, I focus not so much on the expense side of the equation but more on the revenue side of the equation." - George Bchara

Resources In Today's Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

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Welcome to the Myra Wealth Podcast. Myra Wealth provides personal finance services to international and multi-cultural families in the United States. Each week our founder and CEO Sahil Vakil interviews highly successful international and multi-cultural individuals to uncover how they managed their money. And how they navigated some of the most important personal finance decisions of their lives.

Learn from these first- and second-generation immigrants just like you. And from Sahil himself on how to better manage your money and make smarter financial decisions. Here's your host Sahil Vakil. 

Sahil Vakil:          Welcome everyone. Welcome to the 10th episode of the Myra Wealth podcast. Our guest in today's podcast is George Bchara. George has been a chief accounting officer and vice president of Conn's Inc. since December 2016. Prior to Conn's, George served as a chief accounting officer and senior vice president at Bank United. Prior to Bank United, George was the manager at PWC a multinational professional and accounting services firm from 2007 to 2011. George is a CPA or a certified public accountant and a CFA charter holder. George holds an MBA in finance and entrepreneurial finance from the Wharton school and a bachelor's in accounting and finance from the Florida State University.

                           With that introduction, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Myra Wealth podcast with George Bchara.

                           Welcome George, welcome to the Myra Wealth podcast.

George Bchara:  How are you doing?

Sahil Vakil:          Excellent. It's fantastic to have you here. We gave a pretty robust professional introduction and we know you know where George Bchara works. You're the chief accounting officer of Conn's HomePlus. Tell us a little bit about your personal side. Where are you from, where's your family from, how did you move to the United States?

George Bchara:  Sure sure. I was actually born in the United States in Connecticut, but born here while my parents were living abroad in Syria. My father is from Syria. He came to the US when he was in his early 30s about my age now. Didn't speak any English, didn't know a word of anything about the US culture and moved here when he was in his 30s. Then met my mom and then they got married in Syria and were living in Syria when I was born in Syria. After Syria at the time not a very developed country. My mom being an American didn't want to raise her children in Syria. In particular she had concerns about medicine and basic milk and so forth.

                           When I was about three or so we moved back to the US and moved to the northeast and New York and then Connecticut. I basically grew up in South Florida. When I was in third grade or so my parents moved to South Florida for my father's job. I spend most of grade school in South Florida before going to college.

Sahil Vakil:          That's amazing. You were born as a Syrian resident or a citizen and then you moved the United States and you basically naturalized to a US citizen or how did that work for you?

George Bchara:  Yeah, so because I was actually physically born in the US I was born you know as a normal US citizen. Also, because my father is Syrian and we were living in Syria I'm also a Syrian citizen as well.

Sahil Vakil:          Oh fantastic, so you have dual citizenship in that sense. There are very few countries that actually still allow dual citizenship so I think Syria is on that list in that sense.

George Bchara:  Yeah. Exactly.

Sahil Vakil:          That's fantastic. You clearly group up in you know the south of Florida but you had kind of this you know multicultural upbringing in the sense that your father was from Syria and your mom was American is what you mentioned right?

George Bchara:  That's right.

Sahil Vakil:          Did you have you know a different way of dealing and discussing money just given that you had parents from two completely different cultures or do you feel like it was a uniform discussion around money in your house?

George Bchara:  Yeah, I would say growing up my parents were very frugal and they were big savers. They never spent more than we had. For most of my childhood we were a one income family. My mom didn't work until I was in high school. My dad was ... he had worked into computer programming through kind of vocational programs in the US. He wasn't educated in the US. We lived a very modest lifestyle in South Florida, but we never ... around discussions of money and thoughts about money I mean the idea of credit had negative connotation and anything. You know we didn't have name brand products in our house you know. The idea that you have a Pepsi can or a cornflakes box in the cabinet was just very foreign to me growing up.

                           In general I think my parents were just very focused on saving and not spending more than they had.

Sahil Vakil:          Do you feel like that is a cultural trait of you know individual from Syria or is that more just coincidentally how your family was growing up and you know your upbringing in that sense?

George Bchara:  Yeah, I think it reflects both of my parents individual upbringings. My father grew up on a farm in Syria and his father was a police chief. He grew up in a very poor upbringing and his idea of when you earn money you saved it rather than when you earned money you spend it. I think that translated into the way he thought about money as a family and so forth.

                           On my mom's side, my grandfather my mom's father grew up during the great depression and he was probably one of the most frugal people that I've ever come across in my life. Similarly my mom shares those same kind of ideas of money. When my parents together are raising children as we were growing up they had a very similar thought around money and in particular around savings.

Sahil Vakil:          That makes sense yes. It sounds like you had a very strong foundation you know just from your parents in terms of your personal finance behaviors. In general, you know for families that don't have that strong foundation I mean, what do you feel or what do you wish you know three was in the world in terms of all the United States in terms of you know a system or some program to help educate these individual when they first move to the United States? Do you feel like there could be something that's missing that could actually help them learn about personal finances?

George Bchara:  Yeah, I think you know I think that the idea of credit is something that is often misunderstood I think particularly among people that are coming from countries that have less developed financial systems and markets and you know certainly that was the case for my father which I think is his aversion to credit in general. That was something that I grew up around. I mean think as a more general sense you know as we sit here today there are so many resources around personal finance it's almost more difficult to find what is the right source to read and be informed. You know I don't think there's any shortage of resources around personal finance today.

Sahil Vakil:          On that lines then you know so what are your chief information sources regarding you know personal finance today? Do you have specific sources you go to?

George Bchara:  Mostly the internet. You know when I think about making an investment decision I typically research using the internet.

Sahil Vakil:          Are there any specific kind of reports that you look at or is there a specific journal? I mean any tips or tricks you might be able to provide you know to our listeners in that sense. Do you read certain analyst's reports or anything along those lines?

George Bchara:  Sure. My brokerage account is an interactive brokerage account. There are tons of resources through interactive brokers, some of which are free others of which require subscription. Certainly on the equity side you know I typically would get my research from interactive brokers. On the general sense just staying attuned to markets and what's happening in the world. I read the Wall Street Journal or I read Bloomberg, the Economist, you know those are probably my key sources of general information.

Sahil Vakil:          That's very helpful and we'll put those in our show notes if our listeners want to go back to them.

                           Just moving forward and then kind of switching topics a little bit, you're already a highly accomplished individual. You have a bachelor's in you know accounting and finance and then you've got an MBA from Wharton. You've quickly moved up the corporate ladder. You started your career at PWC then to Bank United and now you're the chief accounting officer of Conn's HomePlus. I mean you've achieved a lot in your professional life. Do you feel like you're successful and what is that definition of success for you?

George Bchara:  Yeah, I know I definitely think that there are some measures that I feel successful using. There are other things that I think I have a long way to go. I think in terms of what motivates me and what are the things that I've found that are most gratifying about success? I think influence is probably the greatest of those. The idea of being able to influence how a company behaves and acts and their strategy of a large public company was always something that interested me when I was younger. Being able to have a seat at the table and driving strategy and driving an organization to decisions is certainly something that's gratifying.

                           I also think you know being able to work around smart accomplished people is something that has come with success. I think the higher you rise within an organization I think the more generally speaking in my experience anyway I've been fortunate to be surrounded by some very impressive and accomplished people. There's a time to learn obviously for people that have taken different paths to different functional leads within an organization. Being able to learn from and interact with a group of highly accomplished people is certainly a gratifying outcome of success.

Sahil Vakil:          There's a saying right you should never be the smartest person in the room, because if you are the smartest person in the room you're probably in the wrong room.

George Bchara:  There you go. There you go.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay, that's fantastic. It sounds like your definition of success is clearly not based on material aspects. You didn't mention money or status or any of that in your definition. It's clearly based on influence, it's based on being around smart accomplished people. It sounds like it's more people centric and it's more kind of woven to the human side of things. That's very interesting because I was going to ask you next is how do you see that as a difference between your generation and previous generations? Do you feel like the definition has evolved over time or has it been the same?

George Bchara:  First let me touch on the premise of the question. I think one of the things you mentioned in the question. I certainly don't use money as the defining factor of success, but it's a helpful objective measure of relative success right. I think that's not in and of itself, but you know it is one measure of success sure.

                           I think that younger you know millennials in particular I think have a different definition of success than people that are from prior generations. I think there's much more focus on the other factors of success other than money today and with our generation than there were one or two generations ago.

Sahil Vakil:          Clearly you mentioned in your other statement that money is just one measure to success for you. In that sense then what is the most important thing money gives you today?

George Bchara:  I would say unequivocally convenience. One of the things that always motivated me when I was younger from a financial stand point was the idea of convenience and the convenience that money could bring. Whether that was around simple conveniences in life or you know living in a city for instance as opposed to having to live outside of a city and commute.

                           The more money I make I think the more I value convenience.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay that's a very fair point. Let me ask you one question then. Imagine you're in this world where you have an unlimited amount of money. You have all the conveniences you need, what else would you do with it?

George Bchara:  You know I don't know. I'd probably focus on philanthropic efforts. I mean I think even today right I don't ... it's not like I can do anything that I want from a financial stand point mostly speaking. I think if I had all the money in the world I think I would focus more on impact and philanthropy.

Sahil Vakil:          Are there any specific areas or organizations or foundations that you currently you know give back to? If you do please mention them and we'll put them in our show notes for people to look at.

George Bchara:  Yeah, I've spent a lot of my career working with an organization called Junior Achievement which actually helps to educate financial literacy to kids. Typically fifth grade and eleventh grade are the two grades that they focus on. I used to sit on the board of the foundation in South Florida, but that's certainly an organization that I've been involved with professionally since graduating for undergrads.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay, that's fantastic. I mean, yeah that's definitely I think required in our country in the sense that you know it's personal finance and financial literacy is just not taught in any K to 12 program. I mean to teach you so many different aspects of education from history to geography to ... you know you pretty much learn everything there is to learn, but you don't learn about managing your personal finances. Unfortunately the consequence of that is that you grow up to be extremely successful but then you don't have you know sufficient funding to actually manage your lifestyle or your requirement in that sense.

                           I think you do them a great service, thank you you know for being part of that organization.

George Bchara:  Totally agree by the way, I think it's a clear deficiency in our education system is teaching of financial literacy in schools. It's an unfortunate thing to be honest.

Sahil Vakil:          Do you have further thoughts on that? That's a very interesting ... I mean we all know that that gap exists and we all do know that it needs to be filled. For some reason it's still not part of our K to 12 curriculums. I mean do you have insights into why that's the case?

George Bchara:  I think in South Florida the Junior Achieve ... so the schools in Broward County in particular which is where Fort Lauderdale is require students to go through the Junior Achievement process which is in a great school. In fifth grade you're learning how to manage a business and you know how to buy and sell products and different roles within an organization. The follow up to that later in your grade school is around personal finance. I think in South Florida anyway they've recognized that there's a deficiency and have partnered with outside organizations such as Junior Achievement to fill that.

                           More generally speaking I think that it's not part of what would be considered an academic foundation, it's more of a life skill so I think that's probably one of the reasons why it's not taught formally in schools. At least not emphasized to the degree that it should be. I certainly think there's an opportunity for change in that regard.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay, that's a very interesting definition. It's the first time I've heard of personal finance defined as a life skill. That's a very interesting take on it. In that sense then George, what life skills or what personal finance topics are curious about today?

George Bchara:  Right now I'm interested in real estate. Learning more and getting educated in real estate investment is probably where I'm focused on from a personal finance stand point. Also, spending time with tax planning. I think that as I get older the impact of taxes on wealth creation become more significant, so understanding the tax planning strategies and structuring overall portfolio tax efficiently is a super important thing to be thinking about.

Sahil Vakil:          These are both pretty big topics right so let's tackle one at after the other. On the real estate side give us an idea. Are you purchasing commercial real estate or residential and then are you looking into opportunity zone funds or are you just doing the traditional industry model of section 1030 E1 exchanges where you buy and then you keep increasing the value. I mean just give us an idea of what tricks and tips you're looking into from a real estate perspective.

George Bchara:  Sure. To be fair, I'm just learning the space right now. I haven't made any investments in real estate. The area in which I'm interested is multi family residential. Real estate or mixed use real estate and you know because I don't have any real estate yet, the 1031 like kind exchange transaction wouldn't apply unless you're turning over one real estate investment for another.

                           In general, just broadening my investment portfolio to also include real estate is what I'm focused on.

Sahil Vakil:          Got it, makes sense. For our listeners that don't know what a 1031 exchange is, broadly you know a 1031 exchange also called a like kind exchange is a swap of one investment property for another. Although most swaps are taxable as you know sales if you meet certain requirements of the IRS you know kind of 1031 exchange tax code, you either have no tax or a limited tax consequence at the time of the exchange.

                           I mean, in effect you know you can change the form of your investment without, as the IRS sees it, you know, cashing out or recognizing it as a capital gain. The strategy then allows your investment to grow tax differed pretty much for life. I mean there's no limit on how many times or how frequently you can do a 1031 exchange right. You can roll over the gains from one piece of investment real estate to another and another and another and just keep doing this for life.

                           Although you know you may have profits from each swap, you don't actually pay taxes on these profits. You actually sell the last property and you take cash in hand. When you do receive the cash you would end up paying long term capital gains which for the highest income brackets are about 20%. For lowering income brackets it could be 15% or even 0% in some cases.

                           Just a couple of items at a high level, you know key considerations or things to know about the 1031 exchange I mean, the 1031 exchange isn’t focused on use, again, this provision is only for investment and business properties. You can't swap your primary investments for another home in this 1031 exchange. For that we'll discuss another strategy that's called a section 121 exclusion where you can exclude capital gains, but that's probably for another time.

                           Another piece about the 1031 exchange is personal items no longer qualify for this exchange. Before the tax cutting jobs act you know personal items such as franchise licenses or air craft and equipment would qualify for a 1031. After the tax cutting jobs act you know they basically just limited this 1031 exchange now to real estate property only.

                           Another thing to keep in mind is you know the definition of like kind is pretty broad right. I mean most exchanges you know must merely be like kind. I mean it's pretty much ... you know you can exchange an apartment building for raw land or you can exchange a ranch for a strip mall. The term like kind is pretty broad and you can get ... you know exchange any property for another. The rules are surprisingly liberal so you know it's pretty great in a tax advantage kind of you know set up in that sense.

                           Couple of other things, you can do what is called a delayed exchange. Possibly and exchange would be a simple swap of one property for another. In most cases it's difficult right to kind of time you know the execution of real estate buying and purchase selling. For that reason the IRS gives you what is called a delayed exchange possibility where when you do sell the first property you need to have the cash from the sale of the first property in order to buy a third party. Then when you do buy your next property the third party holding your cash would then basically use that cash to buy that new property.

                           It's also called a starker exchange. Starker I think this was the first tax case that allowed for 1031 with a delayed exchange, so it's also called a starker exchange. The only couple of caveats right in terms of timing if you do a delayed exchange. One caveat is within 45 days of the sale of your property you must designate a replacement property. With 45 days you must say "I'm going to buy this new XYZ designated property." There are a couple ... you don't have to just mention one you can actually mention up to three as long as you choose one of those three. I mean in some cases you can also designate more than three as long as you give maybe some valuation cash holds or some valuation tests that you have the investment qualified for.

                           The other timing issue you need to be considerate of is a 6 month rule where even though you designate a property within 45 days of the sale saying I'm going to buy one of these three properties, within 180 days of the sale you have to actually go out and buy the property. You know I mean keep these timing rules in the mind as you go by a 1031 exchange.

                           Also just keep in mind anything that you receive in cash as part of this transaction is you know typically cash received is called boot in kind of real estate terms. Any boot that you receive is going to be considered as taxable income. Just make sure that you're not kind of exchanging ... I mean you're not receiving cash or boot which will be taxed as you know kind of capital gains.

                           There are a couple of subtleties here all right. Say that you had a mortgage and you're first mortgage on the property was a million dollars. Then the new property that you buy you're mortgage is only 900,000. Technically your liability to mortgage amount went down by 100,000 and that 100,000 can be classified as you receiving the cash and as boot. Technically that would be taxed as capital gains.

                           Again, there are some complexities but just want to kind of you know make you folks aware of what a 1031 exchange kind of looks like. In terms of the tax planning strategies, are there any specific ones you're looking into that you feel like are suddenly saving you large taxes or can you give us an idea which areas you're considering them?

George Bchara:  I think in general I pay too much taxes, so trying to figure out ways to minimize tax exposure. The largest part of my compensation comes from equity. Insuring that I'm thinking about the tax consequences of equity, so there's things such as you know funds that you can transfer your equity in a company that you work at and exchange that for shares into a fund without recognizing the tax gain. That's something that I'm looking into.

Sahil Vakil:          Interesting. Okay, do you want to elaborate on that thought? I haven't' kind of heard of that strategy. Only if you have something you know further that you want, otherwise we can edit this piece out.

George Bchara:  It's basically a strategy that for people that get compensated or have exposure to an individual company you transfer the shares into a fund with other individuals who have similar exposure to one individual company stock and you diversify the investment but also defer the tax.

Sahil Vakil:          I get it. Okay, so this is like a Dow Jones industrial. If you have basically 30 entrepreneurs or executives like yourself who have large single stock holdings and have a high risk exposure to a single company, the 30 of you executives would come in and you would pool all your 30 stocks equal amounts into this one fund and then you would take you know one by 30 or you know 100% to buy back 33.3% stake off the overall fund. Even if one company fluctuates significantly you're not kind of seeing a significant fluctuation in your net worth because that's being minimized by kind of the others. It's kind of like a Dow Jones industrial average or any other kind of broad market EPF. That's pretty much what your creating with private equity.

George Bchara:  That's right, with the one important factor that you're transferring securities that have an unrealized gain and you're deferring that unrealized gain.

Sahil Vakil:          That makes a lot of sense. Okay, how does the control aspect work? Clearly if you are moving equity into kind of this uniform fund, you are definitely contributing ownership. Then what about control in terms of your voting rights in your own company. Do those also get distributed across the different share holders or does control still remain with you?

George Bchara:  No. You no longer have shares in a single equity, in a named equity. You now have shares in an exchange fund. You would lose the control aspect of owning it as single name equity.

Sahil Vakil:          Interesting. It's not only a change in ownership but it's also a change in control in that sense.

                           Okay, this is an interesting strategy. Okay let's move forward to you know this section where we'll do a quick rapid fire you know set of questions. You know here if you have a short story or an anecdote to share I think those will be fantastic. Are you ready?

George Bchara:  Sure.

Sahil Vakil:          Alright. What's been your best financial decision you've made in the past?

George Bchara:  I would say changing jobs. Moving from South Florida to Houston and broadening my industry exposure from banking to retail and financial services has been by far the best financial decision I've made. I know that's not an investing decision, but for me personally that's been a very important career life decision for me.

Sahil Vakil:          Fantastic. Just to kind of elaborate on that, was it because you changed industries and you got into a more lucrative industry or was it because you got a large bump in kind of the pay check because you moved from one company to the other?

George Bchara:  No, I would say that returns on equity in the banking space in any highly regulated industry don't compare to an industry that has a lot more risk in it. I think for me personally early in my career working in industries that have a much higher risk profile better suits my overall where I want to be from a risk return perspective.

Sahil Vakil:          Got it. Makes sense.

George Bchara:  Similar to a strategy of hey do you wanna invest in a very conservative stock or put your money in a savings account or do you wanna invest in very volatile but potentially lucrative industry or stock or investment. The same applies to ... for me anyway, the same applies to the way I think about which industry I'm in.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay. That makes sense. Question two, what has been your worst financial decision?

George Bchara:  I would say after undergrad I racked up a lot of credit card debt when I first moved to New York. I think that was foolish at the time and you know reflected my just inexperience at life and so that would probably be my worst financial decision.

Sahil Vakil:          That's interesting. How did you come out of that in a sense that we typically you know deploy two or three different strategies, but I'd love to hear how you came out of you know kind of a large credit card debt.

George Bchara:  I just made more money. You laugh Sahil, but I think a lot of people focus on if individual have an income statement and a balance sheet just like companies do I think a lot of people focus on the expense side of things. How do you control expenses? How do you spend less? How do you save more? I think that in my career I focus not so much on the expense side of the equation but more on the revenue side of the equation. I think that each of those can solve your financial issues. For me the revenue side has been the more helpful one.

Sahil Vakil:          That's a very interesting way of thinking about it. I mean just for the benefit of our listeners right. Typically you know when you think of basically what you're saying George is run your personal finances like you would run a company right. Think of it as revenues minus expenses equals profits. Profits are what you can use toward living expenses or investments or whatever it is or yourself. What you're saying is a lot of people try to focus on the expense component. How do I you know reduce my X expense, Y expense. How do I you know shop less or how do I eat cheaper meals or you know, but what you're saying is instead focus on growing your skills and your abilities and then kind of earning more revenue.

                           The equation takes care of itself because at the end of the day if you increase revenues and increase profit, or if you decrease expenses you can increase profit. The opportunity for you to increase revenue is actually ... the upside is unlimited versus you know reduction of expenses. The downside is restricted right because of the number of expenses you have.

George Bchara:  That's exactly right. That's exactly right.

Sahil Vakil:          It's an interesting strategy and I think that's important because I think it also goes into the whole self development aspect where you might incur short term expenses to then build a long term skill set which allows you to increase revenue in the long run then also kind of increase profits in that sense.

George Bchara:  Exactly.

Sahil Vakil:          Fantastic. Moving forward question three, what has been your happiest moment as it relates to money?

George Bchara:  I think probably when I was in college. Life was just cheap and money didn't have an impact on much in college. I think that was ... life was easy in college and I would say that's probably my happiest moment or moments period as it relates to money.

Sahil Vakil:          Let's explore that a little bit right. I mean, clearly at that point you had very little income or revenue and you still seem you're defining that as the happiest moment. Today, you have so much revenue and income and assets but you still feel like that was your happiest moment. Help us equate this difference.

George Bchara:  In undergrad, money provided less constraints and so because most of the time is spent around people and socializing and doing things that didn't cost a lot of money it just ... money never was a factor in undergrad. At least I don't remember it being a constraining factor for much of my undergrad.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay, that's fair. Moving on to question four, what has been you unhappiest moment as it relates to money?

George Bchara:  Probably around just after graduating from undergrad when I moved to New York and racked up credit card debt. That probably was the unhappiest moment around money.

Sahil Vakil:          Got it. Which makes sense because your worst financial decision and your unhappiest moment kind of came together. Okay that's fair.

                           Are there any kind of rules fifth and final question right, are there any rules you follow with your money? I know you mentioned you grew up in a very frugal household and you know credit was a big negative and no name brands. Apart from you know those pieces are there any other rules today you follow with your money?

George Bchara:  Yeah, I think also my parents were very frugal and were comfortable with mediocrity. They thought about you know work life balance in a way that you know my parents were comfortable being home by five o'clock every day and living a life style that revolved around spending time with the family and so forth. That has been a motivating factor for me because that's almost exactly the opposite of what I value in terms of success and wealth creation and life style and so forth.

                           I think from a rules stand point, you know I focus my career on developing skills to be more successful. Whether that comes at the expense of time I think it's been a life style difference for me that's relative to the way I grew up.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay, in closing if you can give us some ideas of how do you balance you know the day. The day only has 24 hours, you're in a very high demanding job as the chief accounting officer of a firm. How do you balance you know sleep time versus work time versus self time versus family time?

George Bchara:  I don't have a family. That makes it easy not to have more hours in the day. I mean I typically wake up pretty early. Work out in the morning and then get to the office by around seven. I try to work longer hours during the week and then work less or not at all on weekends. That for me has given me the right work life balance for where I am in my life and my career.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay, that makes sense. Clearly you're very driven professionally and you're extremely ambitious and a high achiever, but if I was to ask you let's fast forward you know 10, 20, 30 years down the line. I mean professionally, what are the top three things you want to be remembered for?

George Bchara:  I think from my personal objectives are to during my working life to become the CEO of a public company. Accumulate wealth and then retire and spend the back half of my life giving it away. I don't think I wanna pass on wealth to my children. I think that I'm in the wealth creation point of my life and I think that in the back half there'll be a distribution phase of life.

Sahil Vakil:          Okay, these are some really strong ... you mentioned three things. One is CEO of a public company which clearly you're on track on because you're already in the C suite. I don't doubt that you will become one in the near future. The other two are more intriguing to me. One you said accumulate wealth. Do you have a number in mind? Clearly you've been very successful and you have accumulated wealth, but do you still feel like that's missing you know for it's a future goal. Philanthropic ventures, at what point do you feel you will have the capacity to start giving back large contributions to society?

George Bchara:  Sure, so the first question. It's not that I don't feel like I've accumulated wealth to date, it's just that in the working phase of life you accumulate wealth. I think that's a natural outcome of working. The more successful you are the more wealth you create. I think that my idea around wealth and philanthropy involves accumulating wealth in a certain period of life and then giving it away in the second phase of life. I think you know I would imagine I work until my 50s or 60s and then retire and focus on philanthropy.

Sahil Vakil:          Fantastic. George it's been an absolute pleasure speaking with you. I wish you a lot of success and I truly wish that you accumulate tons and tons of wealth and you can give back to society through some of your ventures. It's been a pleasure having you on the show. Again, we thank you so much for being part of it.

George Bchara:  Thanks a lot Sahil. Appreciate it and look forward to speaking to you soon.

Thanks for listening to the Myra Wealth Podcast. Now it's your turn to better manage your money and make smarter financial decisions. Just remember, you're not in this alone. Myra Wealth is here to help. Visit us at MyraWealth.com to learn more. That's M-y-r-a-Wealth.com and get started today.