Catalysts for WealthFactor's Vision

In this Insights piece, we learn more about how Bill Woodruff, the founder of WealthFactor, has utilized his unique opportunities in the investment and wealth management industry to shape what WealthFactor is today.

“The timing of taking this vision to market is unique. The  technology resources needed to build software to empower people with what they need to manage their wealth well was not accessible until the last couple years. Technology designed specifically for you, the head of a household creates many opportunities to enhance efficiency and eliminate conflicts inherent throughout the industry. By putting you in the center of the designs, we’ve removed component parts that hurt and enhance the parts of the industry that make sense - that’s the vision for WealthFactor,” says Bill.Blog Stylized Quotes Verticle-1

EARLY INFLUENCE

Bill started investing because of his grandfather. During the tech bubble build up (and then contraction), do-it-yourself investing was becoming prevalent and he saw the potential in figuring out how to not only do this himself, but what technology could do to make the process better.

“This early time was formative in that it helped me to see how technology could be utilized and in later years I’d come to understand just what was missing - or rather what there was still too much of, and that was layers.”

COLLEGE AND NEXT STEPS

In college, Bill took a job with a brokerage firm as a stock broker trainee. After spending the first month studying and obtaining his security 7 licensing, he moved into cold calling to sell stock. Essentially, this job was “pitching the idea that our firm could pick and time stocks,” says Bill. 

It was an eye opener.

Bill realized that the industry worked because of salesmanship, not actual expertise in the market or its history - nothing based on actual evidence.

As he finished his undergraduate degree, Bill accepted a role as an assistant trader at a hedge fund. This role was tasked with building systems to facilitate complex investment strategies. The firm started a fund of hedge funds -  a hedge fund that invests in other hedge funds. Bill saw this as an expensive fund that invested in other expensive funds. The primary audience for this “fund of funds” was brokers who would sell the fund of funds to their clients. These brokers expected to get paid by the fund itself to avoid having to charge their customers directly for their services. If they were getting paid by the fund, they’d choose what funds to sell based on what pays them the most rather than what fund might be in the client’s best interest. (Pssst… if you don’t invest in funds and instead utilize personalized indexing, you eliminate all of these potential issues). 

Ultimately the client was paying very high fees to line the pockets of brokers and hedge fund managers - yet all these layers and complexity and inefficiency added risk but limited potential to benefit the client. Blog Stylized Quotes Horizontal

This wild inefficiency, high fees, and ultimately higher risk (to make up for high fees), is what led Bill to create WealthFactor, whose goal is to make managing wealth simple, accessible, and transparent.

“The investment world has intentionally created the illusion that when you hire a financial advisor, you are hiring an expert, but that person does not likely have a background that would qualify them as an expert. They usually outsource the investing to fund companies or managers to try to get the returns desired,” says Bill.

Bill created WealthFactor with component parts that are different and actually efficient. 

Integrated services and technology in a single platform designed for clients removes unnecessary fees and risk. That leaves WealthFactor’s team of Wealth Experts to work one on one with those who have more complex needs whether that be investing, planning, tax, and estate situations. 

“I describe the path we are on as a sort of self-fulfilling vision - the lower I went with the fees we charge, the less pressure I had to create riskier investing techniques. The simpler it became, the lower the fees could go. The simplicity and lack of layers came out of this desire naturally.”

THE OUTCOME

The result is a digital wealth services company that is fully committed to their vision of simple, accessible, and transparent wealth management including tools, concierge services, and access to expertise when needed. AND fees are low at only 0.35% for up to $10M in assets (and only 0.10% thereafter). 

“As I’ve said before, I knew because of my background being steeped in these experiences of layers and complexity that I had to challenge the status quo in our industry,” says Bill, and that’s what he has done.

For more details about WealthFactor, how we are different, and our approach to investing, check out these relevant Insights pieces:

 

- The Why Behind Our Investing 
- How Wealth Factor is Different
- WealthFactor: An Overview
- Our Investment Approach

- The Why Behind Our Investing
- How WealthFactor is Different
- WealthFactor: An Overview
- Our Investment Approach
- Our Promises

 

Schedule a time to talk with Bill and meet our team of Wealth Experts.


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