By John Zhong, CEO of MyPlanIQ.
Today, more than ever before, Americans are relying on retirement investments (401ks, 403bs, IRAs) to fund their retirement spending. We recognize that one of the most important yet often ignored factors that hinder Americans from savings and investing is that there is lack of an effective way for them to manage investment risk. The two bear markets (2001-2002 and 2008-2009) have severely damaged many retirement investment portfolios, which has scared many people away from retirement investments.
As what Warren Buffett once said, “Rule No.1 is never lose money. Rule No.2 is never forget rule number one.” At MyPlanIQ, we believe educating Americans on how to manage their investment risks is the most important task. Furthermore, providing an extremely easy to use and low cost platform for retirement investments is equally important. This is MyPlanIQ’s mission.
We focus on two important risk management factors:
1. Portfolio Diversification
Properly assessing personal risk tolerance and investing in a diversified portfolio are the key factors for long term investment success. Modern Portfolio Theory, backed by strong academic research and widespread practice, is the bedrock for strategic asset allocation. We provide strategic asset allocation portfolios that are tailored to investors’ personal risk profile (using proper stocks, bonds and cash allocations) for given 401k plans. MyPlanIQ has one of the largest 401k plan databases that is constantly updated by us as well as by our users.
2. Tactical Risk Reduction
Tactical asset allocation can be effective to reduce investment loss during a severe market stress. The strategy gauges current market condition and can dynamically shift risk exposure to avoid big loss. It has been proven by academic researchers and practiced by many wealth and investment managers. Adopting such a risk managed strategy enables investors to reduce a portfolio’s loss and fluctuation (volatility). This strategy has become more necessary in the coming decades to cope with increasing economic and financial market uncertainties.
Properly diversified portfolios using strategic asset allocation and risk managed tactical asset allocation can achieve reasonable returns with less risk. In return, this will increase average investors’ confidence and make them better investors.
MyPlanIQ’s Retirement Investment Platform
MyPlanIQ provides a simple to use platform for average investors. Users first answer a few questions regarding their personal risk and financial situation. The system then provides customized portfolios for their 401k plans. For IRAs and taxable accounts, MyPlanIQ also provides customized investment plans for major brokerages (Fidelity, Schwab, TD Ameritrade and Etrade) using either commission free ETFs or brokerage recommended no load and no transaction mutual funds. Users will receive periodic rebalance emails monthly or quarterly.
On average, users spend less than 5 minutes to set up their customized portfolios. After setting up their portfolios, they spend half an hour monthly or quarterly to rebalance their accounts based on rebalance instructions.
We view risk management as the central piece for investments. We strive to improve user experience and investment strategies on MyPlanIQ platform. We believe our low cost platform can provide effective investment solutions to help Americans to ensure their retirement investment success.