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End-of-the-Year Advice from Successful CEOs

End-of-the-Year Advice from Successful CEOs
December 21
22:51 2015

“Getting my finances in order” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. If organizing your financial house will be one of your goals for 2016, get a head start with these tips from Robo-Advisor CEOs.

By the way, a Robo-Advisor is a wealth management ‘specialist’ who lives online. Instead of utilizing human planners, these advisement companies provide portfolio management advice using algorithms.

Studies show that people are more likely to complete New Year’s resolutions and other goals if they are specific. That means you’ve got to know where to start. Who better to offer advice than the individuals who revolutionized the industry of financial advice? The following tips come from leaders of a few of the most successful robo-advisors.

Adam Nash, CEO of Wealthfront

Wealthfront_2725359Adam’s advice is simple: “When you get a bonus or annual raise, the best gift you can give yourself is to save that extra income; don’t spend it.”

In other words, don’t spend more than you make! Adam’s strategy applies during the final months of the year, when bonuses, tips, and gifts come our way. Saving this extra money will help you avoid lifestyle inflation. And, as Adam notes, “Once you raise your spending, it can become incredibly hard to jump off the treadmill. The only reliable path to long-term financial success is to live within your means.”

Jon Stein, CEO of Betterment

Jon advises clients to be thankful for what they already have: “We’re all subject to many constraints, not just economic but also time constraints, limited capabilities, relationships and, of course, capital. What’s important to maximize our lifetime happiness based on these constraints.”

This thoughtful advice isn’t surprising, considering Betterment advice tilts towards behavioral finance. “Education is a great way to invest in another form,” says Jon. “To me, the most important thing is to do what makes you long-term happy, what will help you build the future you want.”

Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital

personal-capitalIf his name sounds familiar, it’s probably because Bill has served as CEO of both PayPal and Intuit. He later founded Personal Capital, which combines human financial advisors with robo-advisor algorithms.

His advice is to diversity: “Whether you’re just starting your financial journey or reviewing your current investments for the year ahead, maintaining a diversified portfolio may be the single most important driver of your investment success,” says Bill.

This might mean some serious rebalancing and reorganizing.

Bill also advises caution when making investment choices: “Stocks that may be hot right now won’t stay that way forever, so it’s important to hedge your bets and maintain a diversified portfolio that isn’t dependent on the whims of a single group or industry.”

Rich Hagen, CEO of TradeKing Advisors

As 2015 draws to a close, Rich advises clients to practice healthy financial habits: “This means paying yourself first when you sit down to pay your monthly bills, by consistently putting aside an amount of money you can deposit into a brokerage or financial account.”

He adds that investors can make this an easy habit by setting up automatic monthly deposits.

Bo Lu, CEO of FutureAdvisor

FutureAdvisor_logoBo’s end-of-year advice is to reflect: “You can’t know how to get to where you need to be if you don’t know where you are.”

Take a close look at your accounts, says Bo, where they are held, and what your investments look like.

“These days, it’s quick and easy to see all of your accounts in one place, get a holistic analysis of your current portfolio, and see how much you’re on track to have at retirement,” says Bo.


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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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