The 2017 Wealthfront Career-Launching Companies List

Today we are pleased to present our fifth annual list of US mid-sized information technology companies with momentum. We publish this list because it is our responsibility as a financial advisor to provide the advice that maximizes your net worth. As proud as we are of our investment service, we think we can add even more value by helping you start your career on the right foot. That’s because choosing the right job can add far more to your ultimate net worth than making good planning or investment decisions. We believe the companies we list each year are the ideal places for young people to start their careers because they are all highly likely to turn into large businesses, and […]

Financial Advice for Young Lawyers in Debt

What to Do First? Invest or Pay off Debt? Among the many decisions facing young professionals as they embark on their careers is how to begin a lifetime of financial planning. And young attorneys have an especially tough call. Most of them leave law school with significant student debt, but without the sort of starting salary necessary to quickly pay off their loans. At the same time, they are usually smart enough to appreciate that they need to start saving for major life events, including a home, college for their children, and their own retirement. So what to do? Pay off their loans, or start in on a nest egg? The answer for young lawyers, just like it is for […]

How to Forecast Future Inflation Rates

Estimating inflation accurately is enormously important to the development of a viable financial plan.  Misforecast inflation by 1% and the plan might not be able to cover living expenses upon retirement.  The challenge is finding a credible way to forecast inflation. As is the case with most financial statistics, the best estimate is usually found in the public markets. Those who put their money where their mouth is tend to be right more  often than pundit prognosticators (Brexit not withstanding, where those betting in the UK got it wrong). Bond Market Provides Clues on Inflation Bond market participants routinely price bond securities based upon their inflation projections.  The difference between the nominal 10 year Treasury rate and the inflation adjusted Treasury […]

The Miracle of Compound Interest

Your Most Powerful Investment Ally is Time If you’ve ever heard compound interest described as “the most powerful force in the universe,” it’s probably on account of a quote to that effect attributed to Albert Einstein. As it happens, the quote itself is probably an urban legend. But if Einstein didn’t make such a reference, (or, as an alternative version has it, call compound interest “the most important invention of all time,”) it was probably because he was too busy with E=MC2 to give the matter much thought. E=MC2 is the formula that describes converting mass into energy. Compound interest, by contrast, is the formula that describes converting time into money. Lots and lots of money. Compounding Turns Time Into […]

Welcoming Three New Hires to Our Executive Team

At Wealthfront, we believe that everyone deserves sophisticated financial advice. Delivering on a mission this large isn’t easy; it requires patience, funding and most importantly an extremely capable team. Today, I am incredibly excited to announce three new additions to our team of talented executives who will help make our mission a reality. Joe Ternasky, Vice President of Engineering. Yesterday we welcomed Joe as Wealthfront’s VP of Engineering. Joe has had an impressive career spanning Adobe, Apple, Microsoft and most recently, nearly a decade at Google, where among other responsibilities, he ran development for all of Google apps for enterprise. His experience developing compelling user experiences at scale and across multiple platforms will ensure we deliver on the vision laid […]

The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Benchmark a Diversified Portfolio

One of the biggest challenges for an investor is to determine how well her diversified portfolio is performing. The two most common benchmarks featured in published advice are: S&P 500 A 60/40 Stock/Bond portfolio Unfortunately, most published advice is incorrect. That’s because it usually encourages comparison to an irrelevant index or too generic of a model portfolio. In our opinion, the right way to benchmark a diversified portfolio is to take into account risk and taxes. Let’s Start with Indexes Most individual investors think they should benchmark their diversified portfolios against a stock index like the S&P 500®. That’s probably because such indexes are the only indexes with which they are familiar or the only indexes their financial advisors used in […]

It’s About Automation, Not Fees

Automated investment services are successful because they are automated, not because they are low priced. They are low priced because they are automated, but that’s not why most people choose them. Broadly, preference for automation is a generational thing, much like music. Baby Boomers who grew up on rock ‘n roll didn’t transition their musical taste to classical when they got older. They were conditioned as a generation to like a particular style of music, and stuck with it. We believe the same is true for the way people interact with the Internet. While older people like the convenience of the Web, they also like talking to people “in person.” In contrast young people who grew up “digitally native” prefer […]

What Brexit Can Teach Us About Investing

This post is based on an original post by Andy Rachleff, published on the Wealthfront blog on July 22, 2015. It has been updated based on the recent referendum in the United Kingdom. Over the last few weeks, the financial news has been filled with predictions of what might occur based on the recent referendum in the United Kingdom. Over the last 24 hours, the financial news cycle has been escalated to a fever pitch based on the results. Overnight market futures dropped significantly in several major markets, including hitting the 5% limit for overnight S&P 500 market futures. The British Pound dropped more than 10%. The Prime Minister has resigned. The FTSE 100 declined 3.15% today, but finished the […]

529 Series, Part 2: The Benefits of Superfunding

On June 1, 2016, Wealthfront announced its new 529 College Savings Plan. This post is the second in a three-part series updating our previous advice on saving for college using 529 plans. This post is based on an original 2014 post by Adam Nash. One of the largest financial obligations that many parents decide to take on is funding their child’s college education. With the current four-year cost of a California public education at UCLA at $136,000 and a private education at Stanford at $267,000, this can be a daunting task even for professionals with high-paying careers. The 529 plan is the most popular of several deferred savings plans for college. While contributions to a 529 plan are not deductible […]

The 529 Series, Part 1: Five Simple Questions When Saving for College

On June 1, 2016, Wealthfront announced its new 529 College Savings Plan. This post is the first in a 3-part series updating our previous advice on saving for college using 529 plans. This post is based on an original 2012 post by Jeff Rosenberger, PhD. For most households, the birth of a child represents a wide range of conflicting emotions and new found responsibilities. From an investment standpoint, it is at this moment that many parents confront a familiar, and yet suddenly urgent financial goal: how to save for the ever-increasing financial burden of a college education. Saving for college can be a daunting financial goal. If you have a newborn daughter, you’ll need roughly $540,000 to pay for her […]