Advising individuals about their money is essentially the definition of a “high-touch” profession. But today, more and more people are comfortable managing their lives — and money — online. Offering a meaningful personal touch while taking full advantage of the benefits of ever-expanding technology is the sweet spot StratiFI has carved out in the investment world.
Robo-advisors do a good job of building on consumer psychology, says StratiFI founder Jim Lee, CFA, CMT, CFP®. They “gamified” the process of onboarding new clients through the use of splashy dashboards and prizes for completing steps in the process. And they are sufficient for some consumers, but as finances get more complex or portfolios get more involved, the personal relationship with an advisor becomes more important.
Technology can be part of that personal relationship in a couple of ways, Lee says. He has developed a niche to identify new technologies that are good investments for clients. “Automating where I can … I build portfolios that reflect who people are.”
To that end, he has investigated artificial intelligence and even medical marijuana (growers, distributors, medical side) as investment opportunities for clients. “It’s my job to look at a new technology and add it — or some aspect — to someone’s portfolio … to satisfy the client’s desire.” At the same time, it is his job to understand the technology and mitigate the risk to the portfolio. Lee finds it challenging and fun to set up a diversified portfolio that is suitable to his client.
StratiFI is also finding ways to add technology to the financial advisor’s toolkit to design successful solutions for clients and analyze portfolios for risk. A tech company focused on financial services and risk-management offers, StratiFI builds white-label technology platforms, such as PRISM, allowing every advisor the benefit of innovations in fintech. And considering the wealth of financial and banking companies with a strong presence in Delaware, StratiFI fits nicely into the business landscape.
Ever the innovator, Lee is always “preoccupied with what happens next,” he says. “I’m looking for patterns that are predictive because investing is about market timing, which is based on cycles and seasonal patterns.”
Right now, he is studying a 15-day cycle for quick investment payoffs, while he is also hoping to commercialize an algorithmic trading piece he began working on about four years ago, which outperforms the S&P.