Understanding Symmetry Tax Alpha - Helping Maximize After-Tax Results

Putting Taxes to Work for Investors

The taxes you pay on gains in your portfolio can significantly impact overall returns. But with an effective strategy in place—one that underscores the importance of evaluating tax implications in investment decision-making—you can substantially limit the potential long-term impact of taxes.

Tax-managed Mutual Funds or ETFs are one solution—however, they may not offer enough customization for larger portfolios.

Direct Indexing is another solution that allows for more flexibility around tax loss harvesting (pairing losers and winners in your portfolio to reduce taxable gains). Unfortunately, the tax benefits of Direct Indexing typically disappear after four to five years. After that time, you can’t extract any additional tax savings from your portfolio, and it becomes “frozen.”

For larger portfolios and more complicated situations—such as diversifying a concentrated stock position with high embedded gains—using the power of the Symmetry Tax Alpha Program may be the best solution.


tax alpha cover image


What Is Tax Alpha?

Tax Alpha is the potential value generated by managing potential capital gains on your investments using sophisticated strategies.

Taxes often inhibit investment success. Depending on your tax bracket and where you live, long-term capital gains taxes could be as high as 40.8%, turning $1 million in gains into $592,000 (after you pay $408,000 in taxes).

“Tax implications directly impact investors’ financial decisions. We encourage Financial Advisors to bear that in mind when they’re formulating financial plans for their clients,” explains JT Lavery, Associate of Sales at Symmetry Partners. “Tax Alpha can be a great strategy because it simply puts more money in clients’ pockets.”


Why Is Tax Alpha Important?

Strong equity market performance over the last decade has created significant embedded gains for many investors. In addition, the current highest marginal income tax rate of 37% is set to rise to 39.6% after 2025. This makes reducing capital gains increasingly important.


Tax Alpha Solutions

To address these tax management challenges, Symmetry Partners has developed an innovative Tax Alpha Program that can solve the problem of “frozen” portfolios and provide 15, 20, or even more years of tax savings.

The program can also address:

  • Highly appreciated taxable accounts
  • Concentrated portfolios (i.e., company stock)
  • Minimizing the tax cost of transitioning to another portfolio
  • The ongoing need to minimize capital gains


How It Works

The unique use of margin to borrow cash from your account using stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other assets as collateral is fundamental to all Tax Alpha strategies.

We use this borrowing power to build an extension that’s typically 30% of account value long and 30% of account value short (though these percentages can vary, depending on what you are trying to achieve, and how quickly). The long and short positions comprise hundreds of individual stocks different from any others you currently hold.

As markets continuously fluctuate and these hundreds of stocks rise/fall, we use a systematic process focused on harvesting tax benefits.

Because some long stocks decline when markets fall and some short stocks decline when markets rise, this long/short approach may allow for more consistent tax benefits year after year than typical tax loss harvesting.  

Even after fees and expenses, typical tax savings range from 2% to 4% each year.


Tax Alpha Program Options

  1. Core – Core Equity + Tax Benefits
    Portfolio of individual stocks managed to minimize risk with strong, consistent tax benefits
  2. Overlay – Utilize Existing Holdings
    Uses your current portfolio to generate ongoing tax benefits
  3. Legacy – Transition Legacy Holdings
    Transitions your current portfolio to a new portfolio in a tax-efficient manner.
  4. Exchange – Concentrated Stock Diversification
    Tax-efficiently diversifies one to a few equity holdings into a more diversified stock portfolio

If you and your Financial Advisor want to learn more about the Symmetry Tax Alpha Program, contact us or read our Tax Alpha Program brochure.

Back to Blog

Related Articles

Essential Tax Management Strategies for Your Investments

An important part of maximizing your investment returns is how you manage taxes.

A Guide to Tax Gain Harvesting

Taxes are a significant expense for most Americans. As such, savvy investors have come to...

How Should Advisors Talk to Clients About Tax Planning?

Tax management—from deciphering constantly changing tax laws to creating tax-planning strategies...