A big congratulations to my good friend Aaron Klein, a serial entrepreneur here in the Sacramento area, who launched his new startup, Riskalyze, this week.
Riskalyze is a free investing tool that uses questions and math to help you determine what your risk profile is as an investor. Then, it helps you create a portfolio that fits your “risk profile.”
“Investing is broken, and we’re on a mission to fix it,” said Aaron Klein, Riskalyze’s CEO. “We’re taking the emotion and conflict out of investing, replacing it with quantitative math, and allowing people to calculate an optimal portfolio of investments that truly fit them.”
Riskalyze’s technology is based on the premise that, even as the Internet has transformed much of our lives during the last few years, our human process for making risk/reward decisions hasn’t changed. “Until Riskalyze, technology really wasn’t able to capture the subjectivity of risk tolerance,” said Klein. “This is a revolutionary change for the world of investing.”
Riskalyze captures the subjective data of risk tolerance that resides within everyone, and converts it into a quantitative mathematical function that is used to make better risk/reward decisions.
How It Works
The Risk Fingerprint Capture process is a short series of questions that are used to identify how a person makes risk/reward decisions. The dollar amounts in each question are uniquely determined by the algorithm, based on the sequence of choices the user selected during all of the prior questions.
The resulting set of risk/reward decisions allows Riskalyze algorithms to construct a unique and personal “Risk Fingerprint” for each user, classifying users all the way from “Gardeners” who like to nurture and grow their investments over time, to “Astronauts” who have the risk tolerance to shoot for the stars.
Users can also customize their portfolio by making a Prediction about how the markets will act over the next six months. By default, the product’s prediction model is an average of historical returns, but users can also consider optimistic, pessimistic and sideways models with a few clicks.
Finally, users can create or follow Lists of stocks, ETFs or mutual funds, and Riskalyze will crunch through the list of choices to calculate the optimal portfolio, based entirely on mathematical factors: compatibility with the user’s risk tolerance, past performance and correlated volatility with other choices.
The result is an actionable portfolio that takes the emotion and conflict out of investing, and is entirely based on the user’s tolerance for risk and beliefs about the future.
Riskalyze is available in public beta, for all users at no cost, at Riskalyze.com. Riskalyze doesn’t require connections to a user’s bank accounts, and users never invest or deposit any money with Riskalyze.
My Doomsday Portfolio
Aaron asked me to construct a portfolio for Riskalyze. I took the risk questionnaire and was shocked to find myself in the “highest risk tolerance” bucket!
My portfolio is not quite that of an optimistic gunslinger, though, and instead reflects an anticipation that the financial world will continue to limp along at best. You can check it out here. I had intended to add Walmart as well, but I think Riskalyze finally drew the line at my “grandma economics”!