What to Do About GOOG

By Michael McDaniel
Chief Investment Officer

If you haven’t heard, Google is shaking up its stock with effectively a 2-for-1 stock split, but the new shares you get are a new class of stock called “C” shares. The move is designed to keep Google’s founders in voting control of the company for the long term, even as they issue more shares for acquisitions or employee compensation.

The result is a strange anomaly — while Google’s overall value won’t fall, the market data for their shares would show an overnight 50% drop, and can’t be adjusted using the normal system for splits.

As a result, we’re doing the adjustment manually, using a split-adjusted version of GOOG’s past history for both GOOG and GOOGL. Eventually, the fresh data for both stocks will be long term enough to allow us to remove this manual tweak and let the pure data feed speak for itself.

Disruptive innovation is generally a great thing for shareholders, but this is the kind of disruption that’s a little tougher to navigate! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to let our Advisor Success team know. We’re here to help.

Taking the Next Step in Portfolio Risk Modeling

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of several key enhancements to the data model we use to calculate the risk in portfolios, the user interface for controlling that data model, and several new one-click stress tests you can run on your portfolios.

First, we added several enhancements to the data model. We now detect bond holdings, and we correlate those interest rate-dependent investments to the 10 Year US Treasury Rate. No need to turn on the interest rate stress test to see the analysis in that light any more. And we also detect tactically managed funds and have improved how we assess their risk.

Second, we rolled out a brand new interface to control the data model assumptions in your portfolio.

The default scenario, Long Term Consensus, is the same scenario we’ve always used for the S&P 500 — a long term annual gain of 10.4% (including dividends). Because interest rates, managed by central bankers, have no long term consensus per se, the default is “flat.”

By the way, notice that you can actually see what the Risk Number for the portfolio would be, without having to select that scenario and let the portfolio recalc! We know that’s a big time saver for some of you who love stress testing.

Third, we’ve added several one-click stress tests you can run on your portfolios. The +100bps rate hike keeps the status quo for the market, but raises interest rates by 1%. The 2013-like and 2008-like scenarios apply the S&P and interest rate changes for those quite-opposite market years.

Remember — if you want to see how these assumptions calculate into any individual investment, simply click the arrows beside each one to pop open and see the best case / worst case, or return / volatility calculations for that individual fund or stock.

We hope you enjoy how simple it is to understand and control the underlying assumptions in your portfolio risk calculations. These changes are now live for all Riskalyze customers.

Making it Easier to Navigate Your Client List

We heard you…the grid of “cards” for each of your clients looks really nice when you first start using Riskalyze, but as you add more clients, it quickly becomes difficult to navigate and find the client you’re looking for.

And with some advisors managing 200 clients and up in one advisor account, something had to change.

We listened, and as of this afternoon, as soon as you go past ten clients, your Riskalyze home screen will automatically transition into the new client list view that looks a little something like this.

Stay tuned for some more upgrades coming down the pike: specifically, some really cool search, sort and filter tools for your client list. For now, remember that you can search by hitting Ctrl+F or Command+F in your browser.

Thanks for your feedback…we’re always listening and we love hearing ways we can make your job easier as an advisor!

Bring a portfolio to Orlando with you next week! Looking forward to meeting a bunch of great advisors at TD Ameritrade Institutional’s National Conference.

900 High Street

2013 was a year of tremendous growth for Riskalyze. As our business grew and and we had the privilege of serving a rapidly growing base of advisors, our team grew quite a bit as well, with new Riskalyzers joining our Advisor Success, engineering and sales teams.

That growth drove us to start looking for a new building to house everyone, and we signed a lease for our new headquarters in December. After weeks of work to prepare the new space, our first day of operation at the 900 High Street building in Auburn is today.

A company’s workspace is reflective of its goals and aspirations. We believe 900 High is the perfect place to build a 100 Year Company. It’s a beautiful, expansive building that we now share with the local Bank of America branch. A combination of brick, exposed wooden columns and vaulted twelve foot ceilings give the space a deep sense of character.

If you visit, here’s the front lobby.

One of the key needs in our new location was a big, collaborative bullpen space for our engineering team to work together. We started in this room with a rose-colored wall.

We turned it into a charcoal-gray wall.

Then we added the Riskalyze icon to it.

Installed twenty feet of custom-made whiteboards.

And a row of screens to track the progress of our customers, our sales team, our support team and data center status.

Because we’re still a private company and those stats are confidential, the screens go into guest mode whenever a visitor is in the building.

Big, collaborative workspaces so our engineering team can work closely together as they build new features and support our customers.

Offices for those of us who spend a lot of our day on the telephone with customers and partners.

The main conference room, fully equipped for video conferences with the Riskalyzers who work remotely in other states.

We use the overhead projector to share what we’re working on, and the 40” LCD screen for the video conference. That, and our Logitech BCC950 Conference Camera have been great tools for productive meetings across distance.

Another conference room for smaller meetings or phone calls.

The lounge — a space for Riskalyzers to relax a little bit, play some games, or hide out during the Nerf wars that erupt from time to time. (The bean bag chairs haven’t arrived yet.)

And we don’t have photos handy, but there’s also more space for the team that helps develop Riskalyze advisors and make them successful, as well as a full kitchen and break room. (We stock every full-time Riskalyzer’s favorite soda, juice or tea as long as we can get it at a reasonable price.)

We don’t measure our success by the number of people on our team, or the number of square feet that we occupy. Instead, we measure success by the advisors we have the chance to serve, and the assets we get to impact.

Riskalyze is a company on a mission, and that’s why we’re excited to have this new headquarters building. It’s a tool that we’ll be using quite a bit to achieve our mission of aligning the world’s investments with investor risk tolerance. Thanks for being a part of that journey with us.

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