This week, I pause to reflect on the sales of (1) AdvisorEngine to Franklin Templeton and (2) the technology of Motif Investing to Schwab. Is all enterprise wealth tech destined to be acquired by financial incumbents? Has the roboadvisor innovation vector run dry? Not at all, I think. If anything, we are just getting started. Decentralized finance innovators like Zapper, Balancer, TokenSets, and PieDAO are re-imagining what wealth management looks like on Ethereum infrastructure. Their speed of iteration and deployment is both faster and cheaper, and I am more excited for the future of digital investing than ever before.
In this conversation, we chat with Jason Wenk, who is the Founder & CEO at Altruist. Apart from this Jason is a writer, self-proclaimed math geek, and investment systems developer. He began his career at Morgan Stanley in NYC at age 20, working on investment research and asset management systems development. After this Jason founded FormulaFolios: quantitative, computer-driven investment models based on academic research to help remove emotion from investing. FormulaFolios would later develop into a standalone asset manager and go on to rank as a fastest-growing private company by Inc. magazine 4 years in a row, reaching as high as #10 in 2017.
More specifically, we discuss all things wealth tech, as well as, serving people with financial planning, financial advice, and generally improving their financial health.
I discuss Citi's roboadvisor launch and why it took the firm 12 years to get to the party. We break down the difference between financial services ingredients and the organizations that combine those ingredients to manufacture and distribute financial products. We also look at how that consumer prerogative is defining the asset management industry, and the consolidation towards monolithic passive indexing providers. Last, we talk about how people prefer mass produced Twinkies to expensive artisanal desserts. Yummy!
We are syndicating a deep conversation across roboadvice, high tech and payments, and fintech bundling that we had with Craig Iskowitz of Ezra Group Consulting.
Check out Ezra Group Consulting here to learn more about digital wealth and Craig’s consulting practice. He is one of the sharpest software consultants in the RIA space, and his firm works with wealth management firms and fintech vendors to provide technology strategy and market research.
We had a lot of fun in this conversation and cover TD & Schwab, Wealthsimple, M1 Finance, Ant & Tencent, and Robinhood, among others. The full transcript is provided along with the recording — worth a read for the illustrations alone.
The New York City-based company raised their Series A funding from WisdomTree Investments, Inc., who sees this opportunity as a strategic investment; the deal will set up WisdomTree's asset allocation models to be made available through AdvisorEngine's open architecture platform and WisdomTree will actively introduce the new platform to its distribution network; AdvisorEngine intends to use the funds for the continued development and expansion of its wealth management platform. Source