And the Average Risk Number is…

In May 2012, Nobel Prize winner, father of Prospect Theory and behavioral finance guru Daniel Kahneman told a CFA Institute audience of industry experts that “the single most important function of a financial advisor is to find out how much loss an investor can tolerate.”

Believe it or not, we’ve analyzed the risk tolerance for over $14 billion in investments through our risk questionnaires. (We did eliminate all the outliers from that number — we’re fairly certain Warren Buffett hasn’t captured his Risk Number…yet.)

Looking at that data in totality, the average investor’s Risk Number is 53. That means the average investor is comfortable risking 11% of their portfolio’s value within a six month period, before they begin to act irrationally and make hasty, emotionally-charged investing decisions.

A risk number 53 matches the risk in a typical balanced portfolio with a 60% stock and 40% bond allocation. This means that the average investor may not be psychologically capable of having more than 60% of their portfolio in the stock market.

This should be concerning news to advisors who allocate portfolios using old fashioned rules of thumb, unquantifiable jargon such as “conservative” or “moderate,” or those who put each investor into a one-size-fits-all allocation. It should be equally concerning to advisors who are still using outdated, subjective and qualitative risk tolerance surveys.

Think for a moment about what makes your phone ring. When and why do clients start calling? After a 5% market drop? After a 10% correction? A 20% crash?

This has many implications for practicing advisors. Whether you’re a Riskalyze user or not, an advisor that recommends more than 60% equities to any investor should clearly be documenting an objective reason for doing so. It also suggests that any portfolio with a projected downside greater than 11% over a six-month period warrants a deeper risk/reward discussion with the investor.

High risk can equal high yield, but only if the investor has the stomach to stay invested that way for the long run. That’s why investing people within the bounds of their Risk Number is such a powerful way to harness human behavior and drive client success.

If we can help you with evaluating the risk alignment of your client base, don’t hesitate to let us know! Call 1-855-RISKALYZE or email

Model Portfolios —> Templates

To lay the groundwork for some upgrades we’re planning for the near future, we’re renaming “Model Portfolios” as “Templates” in Riskalyze, starting today.

Why, you ask?

Well, we’ve found at least three competing definitions of model portfolios used by the advisors and asset managers we work with. Many advisors think models are a “starting template” for building a client portfolio; others think models are an allocation you religiously rebalance clients into; and many asset managers use “model” as the word for their strategy or fund.

So for the sake of clarity, “Model Portfolios” and “Draft Models” are now simply “Templates” and “Drafts” in Riskalyze. You should see this change take effect across the system over the next few days.

If you have any questions, never hesitate to let us know!

Making Portfolios Faster, Smarter and More Flexible

Today, we’re excited to launch a big upgrade to Riskalyze that has been months in the making: a faster, smarter and more flexible Portfolios tool.

Frankly, some of our advisors will be shocked that any upgrade was needed, but an equal number of them have had to deal with some cumbersome and slow workarounds to handle the diverse situations that clients can throw their way. We’re confident both groups of advisors are going to love this upgrade!

Here’s how the new Portfolios is faster, smarter and more flexible.

  • Multiple Accounts. Split portfolios into multiple accounts, import one account at a time from different custodians, and manage SMAs and VAs with a click.
  • Separately Managed Accounts and Variable Annuities. We’re adding 10,000 third party money managers and 130,000 VA subaccounts to Riskalyze. This will be a free upgrade for all of our existing customers at the time of release.
  • Notifications for Young Investments. As we’ve always said, it’s tough to be sure you’ve nailed all of the downside risk of an investment that’s never seen a true bear market. A simple icon lets you see those — and set a proxy if you want.
  • Better Search. Don’t remember the symbol? Search for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, VAs, SMAs and more by name. Just type what you’re looking for into the “add investment” box at the bottom of each account.
  • Flexible Optimizer. Using the optimizer tool isn’t an all-or-nothing deal any more. When you click on Optimize, you can select which investments you want to optimize against each other, and review the results. It’s easy to either save the results, or undo them and roll back to the portfolio’s prior allocations.
  • Amazing Stress Tests. An all-new stress testing engine offers a simple and beautiful look at how a portfolio might have performed during key market events, like the 2008-09 financial crisis or the 2013 bull market.
  • Portfolios have never looked so sharp or been so fast. As part of a broader redesign coming later in the summer, the new Portfolios has fresher colors, a sharper design and is even easier to use — all while maintaining the great features our advisors love. And yes — it’s WAY faster, especially on larger portfolios.

If you’re an advisor interested in checking out all of the new features, join us for an upcoming guided tour at We’d love to have you.

If you’re already a Riskalyze customer, you’ve already been upgraded with the new Portfolios. Please don’t be shy with your feedback — we want to know what we can improve, what you like and what you love!

Thanks for being one of our amazing customers. We love continuing to innovate, and being a small part of your success.

Riskalyze Launches TD Ameritrade Veo Integration

Today, we’re excited to announce that Riskalyze is integrated with TD Ameritrade Institutional’s Veo platform. Our customers who utilize TD Ameritrade Institutional for custody of client assets are now able to link their Riskalyze and Veo user accounts, and link client accounts with the corresponding client profiles in Riskalyze.

Riskalyze also supports multi-account integration. Advisors can link as many accounts as needed to a single Riskalyze client profile. Each of those accounts will be synced into that client’s current portfolio, making it simple to align the household’s portfolio risk score with that client’s Risk Number.

We’ve been big fans of the people of TD Ameritrade for a long time. We’re very pleased to officially launch this long-awaited integration, so our shared customers can benefit from a more seamless experience between their risk engineering and custodial platforms.

If you’re already a Riskalyze customer, please contact our support team to start the integration process. And if you want to take a closer look at Riskalyze, join a guided tour to learn more.

New Board Members

Today, we’re excited to announce two incredible leaders in the advisor and financial technology community who are joining our Board of Directors. Here’s the press release.

Riskalyze Appoints Key Advisor, Financial Tech Leaders to Board of Directors

AUBURN, CALIFORNIA — Riskalyze today announced the appointment of two key leaders in the advisor and financial technology community to its Board of Directors.

RYAN SHANKS is CEO at Finetooth Consulting and founder of He effectively works as a sports agent for investment advisors, helping high-value advisory teams find the right fit for their businesses in the industry. He has served as an advisory board member for Riskalyze since 2013. Ryan is a devoted husband and father to his wife Lauren and three kids. They reside in Massachusetts.

“Riskalyze has transformed the way financial advisors discuss investment risk with their clients, and how broker-dealers and corporate RIAs drive value to their advisor networks,” said Shanks. “I am committed to this company and its mission, and I’m excited to join the board.”

ANDY SWAN is Co-Founder at LikeFolio and a three-time financial tech entrepreneur. His second company, MyTrade, was the first successful social network for traders and was acquired by Thinkorswim (which was subsequently acquired by TD Ameritrade). He has served as an advisory board member for Riskalyze since 2012. Andy resides with his wife and two kids in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I’m excited to be joining the phenomenal team at Riskalyze as they transform the financial industry for the better, one investment professional at a time,” said Swan.

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome industry giants like Andy and Ryan to our Board of Directors,” said Aaron Klein, CEO at Riskalyze. “These two entrepreneurs bring exactly the kind of connections, advice, expertise and wisdom to our board that we’ve been looking for. They are well known throughout the industry, and we’re confident that they will play a key role in strategically guiding Riskalyze to success in the coming years.”

Riskalyze is the company that invented the Risk Number™, the first-ever quantitative way to capture client risk tolerance, align portfolios to client expectations, and quantify the suitability of investments. Riskalyze works with RIAs, hybrid advisors, independent broker-dealers, RIA networks, custodians, clearing firms and asset managers to align the world’s investments with investor risk tolerance.

Welcome to our board, Andy and Ryan!

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