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[presentation] optimizing your portfolio with ETFs

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Wealthfront is pivoting — away from the marketplace of RIAs model like Covestor employs and towards fundamental, portfolio management delivered over the Internet.

The firm appears to be joining a growing bunch of firms focusing on the online delivery of financial advice, like:

  • Personal Capital:  a portfolio manager with A-team management, providing portfolio management over the Interwebs (see my interview with the president of Personal Capital)
  • LearnVest: Focused on a younger, female demographic, delivers financial advice, courses, bootcamps, and now, a subscription model that gives clients financial planning and access to CFPs for ongoing advice.
  • Hedgeable: up over 10% in 2011, this upstart — founded by two experienced hedge fundies — provides institutional-type strategies to individuals for insanely affordable fees (some services are free).
  • Jemstep: Plug in your portfolios at different brokers and the Jemstep platform analyzes everything and makes suggestions to help your optimize your holdings. (here’s my interview with Jemstep)
Wealthfront’s new approach is to emphasize its adherence to MPT (Modern Portfolio Theory) and this is the first presentation from the newly-focused firm. I think it’s pretty sweet.


  • Determining your real tolerance to risk, investing better – with Aaron Klein

    Posted on January 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm UTC

    Risk is such a hard thing to define for investors. Simple questionnaires advisors use don’t capture our real risk. Get risk wrong and the portfolio is wrong — sometimes with disastrous results.

    Today’s guest on Tradestreaming Radio aims to change all that. Aaron Klein’s firm, Riskalyze has developed its own unique way of making a risk assessment that really captures what he calls, an investor’s risk fingerprint.

    Instead of relying upon simple, pat, theoretical questions, Riskalyze really tries to determine how investors make decisions under uncertainty.

    With a proper risk assessment in hand, the opportunities are endless for Riskalyze to develop a truly personalized portfolio.

    Continue Reading »


  • Top CEOs of Online Finance

    Posted on January 10, 2012 at 8:15 pm UTC

    I try to do my best, covering the online finance scene. In top financial startups, we named some of the best, most interesting and compelling, the best websites for investors.

    Now, I’d like to turn my sites to an ongoing experiment in crowdsourcing — who do you think is the best CEO of online finance firms?

    I’ve started the conversation, naming a few of the top CEOs of startups tacking the investment space.

    Who do you think should rank highest on this list? Who would you add/subtract from the list?

    Who Are The Top Online Finance CEOs?
    Zack Miller

    Who Are The Top Online Finance CEOs?

    Who's a great leader? Who's building the next generation of financial firms?
    Feel free to add your own ideas and top CEOs to the list.

    Source: http://www.tradestreaming.com/2012/01/10/top-ceos-of-online-finance/

      Follow List
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    1. 1  Yoni Assia (eToro)

      Yoni Assia (eToro)

      Yoni Assia is the founder and CEO of eToro, the social investment network. Mr. Assia is a former software group manager with over 8 years of experience in the fields of software development and management. Yoni has accumulated over 10 years of experience in investments and Forex trading.

    2. 2  Nick Hungerford (Nutmeg)

      Nick Hungerford (Nutmeg)

      Passionate. Dedicated. And ready to help you invest through Nutmeg!
      Nick brings to the table a strong background in both investment management and entrepreneurship through experiences during his time at Barclays and completing his MBA at Stanford University where he was VP of the Entrepreneur club.

    3. 3  Hardeep Walia (Motif Investing)

      Hardeep Walia (Motif Investing)

      Hardeep has over 15 years of executive management and entrepreneurial experience. Before co-founding Motif Investing, Hardeep was CEO of a medical device startup that he led to a successful acquisition. Hardeep spent over six years at Microsoft, where he served as General Manager of Microsoft's $2B+ Enterprise Services business.

    4. 4  Jon Stein (Betterment)

      Jon Stein (Betterment)

      Jon Stein is reinventing the investing industry. After seeing product after product that made the investing process more complicated than it needed to be, he set out to create a broadly accessible investment company that would help investors achieve the best return (factoring in costs) for the least risk. Passionate about helping people make smart decisions with their money, he founded Betterment.com in 2008.

    5. 5  Shawn Carpenter (YCharts)

      Shawn Carpenter (YCharts)

      Shawn has been an active investor for over 15 years. He developed YCharts to provide investors with comprehensive investment tools focused on quantitative fundamental analysis. Shawn spent three years at Google, where he led strategy & revenue intelligence efforts for the $350 million Local Vertical.

    6. 6  Andy Rachleff (Wealthfront)

      Andy Rachleff (Wealthfront)

      A co-founder and former General Partner of venture capital firm Benchmark Capital, Andy is on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches a variety of courses on technology entrepreneurship. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and is the Vice Chairman of their endowment investment committee.

    7. 7  Michael Blumenthal (Jemstep)

      Michael Blumenthal (Jemstep)

      Michael's passion has led Jemstep through three years of development, research and iteration to the point where our patented fund evaluation technology makes powerful and personalized analysis accessible to ordinary investors. In the coming months we are releasing our new portfolio management product which shows investors exactly what to buy, sell or hold to lock-in a more secure retirement, based on their specific circumstances. Michael's tireless efforts in the industry continue to push Jemstep forward with the aim of helping ordinary, individual investors achieve investment success.

    8. 8  Aaron Klein (Riskalyze)

      Aaron Klein (Riskalyze)

      This is the final in a series of three interviews so you can get to know the founding members of Team Riskalyze. Aaron Klein is our CEO. You can find his blog here, and follow him on Twitter here. Aaron, tell us a little bit about you.

    9. 9  Asheesh Advani (Covestor)

      Asheesh Advani (Covestor)

      Asheesh is an entrepreneur and business builder. He started his career as a consultant with Monitor Group and the World Bank. He subsequently founded CircleLending which helped pioneer the business of peer-to-peer loans and was acquired by the Virgin Group. From 2007 to 2009, Asheesh served as CEO of Virgin Money USA, the American arm of Virgin’s consumer financial services business. Prior to joining Covestor, he served as Global Head of Financial Advisor Products at Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company

    10. 10  Bill Harris (Personal Capital)

      Bill Harris (Personal Capital)

      Bill Harris, Chief Executive Officer - Bill was formerly CEO of PayPal and CEO of Intuit, the makers of Quicken, QuickBooks and TurboTax. He has also founded numerous financial technology and security companies, and served on the boards of RSA Security, Macromedia, SuccessFactors, GoDaddy and EarthLink.

    11. 11  Howard Lindzon (StockTwits)

      Howard Lindzon (StockTwits)

      Howard Lindzon is co-founder and CEO of StockTwits® - a social network for traders and investors to share real-time ideas and information. StockTwits was recently named "one of the top 10 most innovative companies in web" by FastCompany and one of the "50 best websites" by Time magazine.

    12. 12  Alexa von Tobel (LearnVest)

      Alexa von Tobel (LearnVest)

      Founder and CEO of LearnVest. Alexa received an A.B. in Psychology Honors with a citation in Romance Languages and Literature at Harvard College. She was awarded Magna Cum Laude Plus for Harvard’s first ever senior thesis on Bhutan

    13. 13  Amanda Steinberg (DailyWorth)

      Amanda Steinberg (DailyWorth)

      At last! A place to write about DailyWorth behind-the-scenes, and maybe even crowdsource the creation of the ever-evolving business plan. Stay tuned. Lots of posts on the way.

    14. 14  Michael Laven (The Currency Cloud)

      Michael Laven (The Currency Cloud)

      Mike has successfully led a multitude of fin tech firms as either CEO or Chairman for the past 15 years. These have included Infinity Financial Technology, Iris Financial and FRS Global. Prior to joining The Currency Cloud, Mike was Chief Operating Officer of Traiana.

    15. 15  Mike Sha (SigFig)

      Mike Sha (SigFig)

      Mike has always had a love for numbers and technology. As a child, his appetite for investing was whetted in elementary school when his mom gave him a summer project to create a way to track dividends and gains for their family's investment portfolio.

    16. 16  David Jackson (Seeking Alpha)

      David Jackson (Seeking Alpha)

      I'm the founder and CEO of Seeking Alpha. I worked for five years as a technology research analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York. I left in early 2003 to manage money (long/short) and explore new approaches to financial publishing, ultimately leading to the creation of Seeking Alpha.

    17. 17  Andy Creak (rplan)

      Andy Creak (rplan)

      Andy Creak is one of the four co-founders of rplan, which aims to help investors make better investment decisions through technology. He started his career as a Project and Programme Manager, before managing Operations, Sales and Marketing and Business Development departments in the financial services industry.

      Andy's aim is to create something new in financial services that he would also use himself.

    18. 18  Michael Carvin (SmartAsset)

      Michael Carvin (SmartAsset)

      Michael's expertise is in financial decision making. In the pre-SmartAsset days, Michael worked in Private Equity. He spent most of his time using financial models to help companies understand how to make and measure better decisions. SmartAsset was built on the principle that the same models could help people improve their decision making. Michael is a graduate of Princeton University

    19. 19  Alex Mifsud (Ixaris)

      Alex Mifsud (Ixaris)

      Alex Mifsud's extensive technology background and solid management experience proved to be invaluable assets when he and William Lorenz founded Ixaris in 2000. Before Ixaris, Alex worked as a senior consultant in the Cambridge-based technology practice of Arthur D. Little, a global management consultancy. There, he provided information technology guidance and innovation to blue chip clients such as Telia, VW Group, Granville Baird and 3i. Alex holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Malta and master's and doctorate degrees in computer science from the University of Edinburgh. He has lectured in the University of Malta's Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.

    20. 20  David Cooney — CEO MahiFX

      David Cooney — CEO MahiFX

      David Cooney is CEO and co-founder of MahiFX, a retail foreign exchange and metals trading platform. David is former global co-head of currency options and e-FX trading at Barclays Capital and was responsible for the award winning e-commerce platform BARX.
      MahiFX operates as a market maker and provides retail FX customers access to the same tight spreads and cutting edge technology as institutional FX traders. The company’s mission is to keep engineering and evolving the platform based on client feedback, providing retail traders with the world’s most-favoured trading environment.

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  • Savings tools to prepare for a rainy day

    Posted on January 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm UTC

    The trick to saving for a rainy day is that you have to do it before the rains come…

    That means putting short-term gratification aside (skip the extra latte, push of the vacation, put in more hours at work) in favor of the long term.

    Investors understand this process as well as anyone. Putting money away long-term into a 401(k) or IRA means removing it from daily circulation. This seems much tougher to do in strenuous economic times, like today.

    So, this tweet from Mint.com caught my eye yesterday:

    Continue Reading »


  • Bringing affordable, institutional-grade investment strategies to everyone – with Mike Kane

    Posted on January 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm UTC

    Individual investors have had to wait patiently to get access to low-cost, high-transparency investment products that employ similar strategies to what hedge funds use to make their money.

    The waiting is over as firms like Hedgeable provide powerful investment management that the rest of us can afford. Minimums are low, fees are low and transparency is high.

    Oh, and Hedgeable returned over 10% in 2011, a year when most stock markets were flat or down.

    On this week’s episode of Tradestreaming Radio, I speak with Mike Kane, co-founder and CEO of Hedgeable about his strategy, why investors benefit from hedge fund strategies, and how he can afford to price his fees so low.

    Continue Reading »


  • Who do you think are finance’s top thought leaders?

    Posted on January 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm UTC

    There’s a lot of second-rate financial information and poor financial advice floating around online. These people rise above the noise, helping themselves and those around them make better investment decisions.

    So, who do you think is making a difference? Who’s a thought-leader helping us understand more about investing or finance?

    The list below is TOTALLY incomplete but it’s a start of some of my favorite investing voices. Who are yours?

    Who do you think is a big thinker in finance (ideas, tools, strategies)?
    Zack Miller

    Who do you think is a big thinker in finance (ideas, tools, strategies)?

    There's a lot of second-rate financial information and poor financial advice floating around online. These people rise above the noise, helping themselves and those around them make better investment decisions.

    Who do you think should be on this list?

    Source: http://www.tradestreaming.com/2012/01/06/who-do-you-think-are-finances-top-thought-leaders/

      Follow List
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    1. 1  Terrance Odean

      Terrance Odean

      Do Day Traders Rationally Learn About Their Ability? with Brad Barber, Yi-Tsung Lee and Yu-Jane Liu. The Cross-Section of Speculator Skill: Evidence from Taiwan with Brad Barber, Yi-Tsung Lee and Yu-Jane Liu. Once Burned, Twice Shy: How Naïve Learning, Counterfactuals, and Regret Affect the Repurchase of Stocks Previously Sold with Brad Barber and Michal Strahilevitz, forthcoming Journal of Marketing Research.

    2. 2  David Merkel

      David Merkel

      Author of the Aleph Blog:
      David J. Merkel, CFA — 2010-present, I run my own equity asset management shop, called Aleph Investments. I manage separately managed stock and bond accounts for upper middle class individuals and small institutions. My minimum is $100,000

    3. 3  Jason Zweig

      Jason Zweig

      JasonZweig.com seeks to help investors maximize the odds of reaching their goals. This site preaches the virtues of investing patience and condemns bad logic and bad behavior.

    4. 4  Richard L. Peterson

      Richard L. Peterson

      Inside the Investor's Brain (Wiley, 2007) MarketPsych: How to Manage Fear and Build Your Investor Identity (Wiley, 2010) Neuroeconomics Post-Doctoral Studies - Stanford University, 2003-2004. Psychiatry Residency - San Mateo Medical Center, 2000-2004. M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) - University of Texas Medical Branch, May 2000, with Honors. B.S.

    5. 5  Michael Mauboussin

      Michael Mauboussin

      Legg Mason's Chief Investment Officer and author of investment books

    6. 6  Richard Thaler

      Richard Thaler

      Of best-selling Nudge fame.

    7. 7  Tom Brakke

      Tom Brakke

      Tom Brakke, CFA, is president of thomas j. brakke, llc, and its affiliated entities, including tjb research, a consulting firm specializing in helping investment firms in the areas of investment process, the use of external research, and the communication of investment ideas within a firm and to its clients.

    8. 8  Mebane Faber

      Mebane Faber

      I get a ton of emails with ideas and questions about trading systems. We put together a research piece that answers a lot of these questions and will likely publish it in the coming weeks on the blog or in a white paper.

    9. 9  Shlomo Benartzi

      Shlomo Benartzi

      Shlomo Benartzi, and Richard H. Thaler. (Summer 2007). Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior. Journal of Economic Perspectives. [ Link ] Shlomo Benartzi, and Richard H. Thaler. (February 2004). Save More Tomorrow: Using Behavioral Economics to Increase Employee Savings. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 112.1, Part 2, pp. S164-S187.

    10. 10  Meir Statman

      Meir Statman

      Meir Statman is the Glenn Klimek Professor of Finance at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University and Visiting Professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. His research focuses on behavioral finance. He attempts to understand how investors and managers make financial decisions and how these decisions are reflected in financial markets. Meir's book, "What Investors Really Want," has recently been published by McGraw-Hill. The book's subtitles are "Know What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Better Financial Decisions," and "Learn the Lessons of Behavioral Finance."

    11. 11  Brad Barber

      Brad Barber

      Brad is the Maurice J. and Marcia G. Gallagher Professor of Finance at the UC Davis, Graduate School of Management. He is also the Director of the Center for Investor Welfare and Corporate Responsibility. His recent research focuses on analyst recommendations and investor psychology. His research has been covered extensively in the financial press, including Business Week, Time, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, CNNfn, and CNBC.

    12. 12  David F. Swensen

      David F. Swensen

      As Yale University's Chief Investment Officer, Swensen literally wrote the book about endowment investing.

    13. 13  Jonathan Clements

      Jonathan Clements

      OKAY, OKAY, I ADMIT IT, I don't update this Web site very often. But if you check back occasionally, you're likely to find new stuff. While I am no longer in the column-writing business, I continue to do a heap of writing for Citi Personal Wealth Management-and some of those pieces are now available on Citi.com.

    14. 14  Wesley R. Gray

      Wesley R. Gray

      Wes is a professor at Drexel, runs the Turnkey Analyst site, and got his PhD at Chicago.

    15. 15  Darren Roulstone

      Darren Roulstone

      Director, PhD Program Associate Professor of Accounting & MIS Professor Roulstone conducts research on the role of information intermediaries in capital markets. He publishes in, and is a reviewer for, a variety of accounting, finance, and legal journals. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Accounting Research, the Accounting Review, and Contemporary Accounting Research.

    16. 16  Robert D. Arnott

      Robert D. Arnott

      Robert D. Arnott (born 1954) is an American entrepreneur, investor, editor and writer who focuses on articles about quantitative investing. He is the father of Richard Wiles-Arnott, Sydney Arnott, and Robin Arnott. He edited the CFA Institute's Financial Analysts Journal from 2002–2006, and has edited three books on equity management and tactical asset allocation.[1] He is a co-author of the book The Fundamental Index: A Better Way to Invest.[2]

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About Tradestreaming

Tradestreaming is a community of investors learning directly from experts. I’m Zack Miller, investor, entrepreneur, and founder of Tradestreaming.com and I literally wrote the book on how to invest in the age of Facebook and Twitter. Tradestreaming is the resource I’ve created to help me become a better investor.  I believe it will help you … Continue Reading