I work in the Silicon Valley and help startups grow faster

Published: 1 year ago

Joining Wealthfront

This week is my first week at Wealthfront.

For the uninitiated, Wealthfront is a software-based financial advisor which offers sophisticated wealth management tools at a cost significantly lower than what you would pay to retail financial advisors at major financial institutions. You can read a bit more about Wealthfront here.

I’m joining Wealthfront as the Director of Growth and Revenue where my goal is to get more customers and more assets under management. Previously I worked on user growth and engagement for Facebook, Twitter, and Quora and most recently spent 3 months at Greylock Partners as a Growth Strategist in Residence where I helped Greylock companies figure out how to grow more quickly and sustainably. I’m a big believer in Wealthfront and I’ll share a few reasons as to why I decided to join:

Mission

Very few people get access to sophisticated financial tools. Most are denied access to top-tier wealth management services because they don’t have enough money to invest. For example, institutions such as Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan tend to require minimums of at least $10,000,000 in order to use their wealth management services. Wealthfront changes that. As long as you have at least $5,000, you can use our software to manage your wealth. Not to mention that the first $10,000 is managed entirely for free. Everything after that is managed at 0.25% per year, which is significantly less than the 1.0% – 1.5% management fee that comes with most financial institutions. In short, Wealthfront provides greater access to leading wealth management services that will help more people have a financially secure future. From my perspective, that’s a very meaningful mission.

People

Wealthfront has impressive technical talent, leadership talent, and experienced operators across the board. I initially met members of the team when I gave a talk on growth at the Wealthfront offices back in March. I found it easy to get along with everyone, it became clear very quickly that they were a talented bunch of people, and they were all there because they believed in the mission. It felt like I was visiting my next home. Not to mention that it is a great environment for getting stuff done. With a continuous deployment process, we can iterate quickly and deliver more value to our users at breakneck speed. We also have legends in the wealth management industry as members of the team, such as Charley Ellis and Burton Malkiel. Check out the rest of the investment team here.

Traction

Wealthfront is already off to a good start with over $350 million in assets under management and growing at a fast pace. Organic growth is continuing at a strong pace and is being driven by the value it brings to our users. Many of Wealthfront’s customers tell their friends, family and colleagues about it, leading to the best kind of ongoing growth: word-of-mouth. By joining, I aim to put a bit of fuel on the fire and help it grow faster. It’s going to be a fun growth challenge and one that will be exciting to work on for a long time.

Relevance

I’ve been a personal finance and investing nerd for a while. About 25% of the books in my personal library are on the topic. In fact, I’ve derived most of the mental frameworks and data frameworks that I use for figuring out how to grow a startup from investing literature. Wealthfront helps me combine several of my personal interests and apply them to my work. Lastly, I’m vigilant with my personal finances because I care about being able to take care of my family and want to be in the financial position to do so if any of them ever need my help. People claim that you can’t buy happiness. I disagree with that. You can absolutely buy happiness if you have a good sense as to what you should spend the money on. If I can help my dad live comfortably into old age without having to worry about his pension, that would make me a happy man.

I’m really excited to start working at Wealthfront. My time helping social products grow was a blast. Now I’m ready to apply my time and energy towards another startup that, in my opinion, is the most meaningful mission to date. If you want to give Wealthfront a shot, sign up via this link to get started. Thanks for reading.

 

5 Comments.
  1. James Mulvey says:

    Hi Andy,

    I found your blog tonight from this post (http://brianbalfour.com/post/63581380690/customer-acquisition) and strangely enough spent the afternoon learning about Wealthfront (the digital agency I work at is doing your new video).

    The product looks great and I sent a link to my Dad’s friend who seemed like a good fit (sudden large sum of money, sudden new work of managing it).

    The Quora post was very helpful.

    –James

  2. Richard says:

    Today I invested $25000 in Fidelity low fee ETFs, I invested $25000 in both Betterment and Wealthfront 10-20-2013.

    The balances as of 11-4-2013

    Betterment $24900. 60/40. Bonds/stocks

    Fidelity. $25037. 0/100

    Wealthfront. $24920. 60/40

    The results will be interesting.

    • uclacademix says:

      Nice! Keep in mind though that the experiment will need to run for several years to fully bake itself out. Glad you are giving Wealthfront a shot though. If you added $100k into Wealthfront you would be eligible for Tax Loss Harvesting, which on average improves client accounts by about another 1% a year. Also, one measure of “success” is how each service evolves to continue building more and more financial products for its clients (such as our Tax Loss Harvesting tool). I can guarantee that we’ll continue to make more products that further satisfy various parts of your financial needs and improve your returns at the same time.

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