Since it’s our innagural blog post, we figured it’d make some sense to, ya know, actually introduce ourselves and provide some background. If you’ve somehow magically made it to sentence # 2, you’re probably wondering “What the hell is Evervestment?” We’re glad you asked. Hopefully, you’ve heard of our parent company Evergreen Gavekal. If you haven’t, they are a Registered Investment Advisor (think: humans who invest other wealthy humans’ money) located in Bellevue, WA, Portland, OR, and San Francisco. Historically, Evergreen Gavekal has only catered to high-net worth individuals, but oh the world it’s a changin’…
We realized with the advent of Roboadvisors— a dumb name for apps / services you’ve probably heard of like Betterment, Mint, SoFi, Personal Capital, Robin Hood, etc — that we could use similar technology to offer our investment strategies to those who don’t have millions in the bank. And voila… Evervestment.
Where should I invest if I have between $100,000-$1m?
Enter Evervestment: The Un-Robo.
We’ve got great news for anyone in this demographic (commonly referred to as the “mass affluent”): Your winding, and often-overwhelming search is over. There’s now an investment alternative to robo-advisors that’s backed by over 35 years of investing experience, navigating multiple market cycles. Evervestment is Evergreen Gavekal’s digital investment platform that invests your money based on proven methodologies and time-tested strategies—not some mathematical model. Robo-advisors use algorithms to target a handful of funds, park your money in that strategy, and rebalance according to a calendar. We don’t believe in this approach since we all know markets don’t behave according to an alarm clock—they’re dictated by human behavior. Evervestment combines the digital experience of robo-advisors with the personal aspects of traditional investment advisors. We employ a hybrid investment approach, actively monitoring and rebalancing portfolios based on prevailing market conditions — just like we do for many of our larger clients.
Wait a minute, Ro-what…?
Thanks for the tug on the reins – let’s slow our roll. You might be sitting there wondering “What the h&ll is a robo-advisor?” Yes, it’s a dumb name. But chances are you’ve probably heard of some of the big players in the digital investment space like Betterment, Personal Capital, SigFig, SoFi, etc. They hire celebrities from en vogue TV shows to tout their service. There’s actress Chloe Godard showing you how to open an account on Wealthfront. And there’s the gal from Showtime’s Billions telling you to be a “maverick” and invest with Betterment. (After all, who better understands the intricacies of the financial markets—and your unique financial situation – than some Hollywood actors?)
Ok, but what does a robo-advisor actually “do”?
The process goes something like this: 1) You visit their website / download their app; 2) Fill out a risk assessment questionnaire to gauge your appetite for downside risk; 3) You get an asset allocation (mix of stocks vs bonds); 4) Based on your risk profile, age, time to goal, and a number of variables, they place you into one of a handful of “buckets” (these buckets typically hold a number of Index or Exchange Traded Funds, designed by proprietary algorithms to closely track specific areas of the market, like the S&P 500). Voila, in a matter of minutes your money is being invested via the power of math and technology. (Disclosure: Onboarding and investment experience at various robo-advisors varies.)
Sounds pretty great, huh? It’s true, the largest and most well-known robo-advisors do offer sleek, sexy user interfaces and technology that make it quick and easy to get your money invested.
But behind the curtain, there are some things they don’t want you to know. Chief among them, guess how many robo-advisors existed during the last financial crisis? Z-E-R-O. In fact, most of them were either an idea in someone’s head or lines of code being beta tested. That begs a pretty serious question: What’s going to happen the next time an unexpected, multiple-standard deviation, “Oh, Sh*T!” event happens? The problem with code and math is you have to set bounds on what’s possible.
This is exactly why we think technology needs to be combined with human oversight. And, the research bears this out:
So, back to our original question: If you’re someone with anywhere from $100k-$1m you’re trying to invest, chances are your options are (more or less) the following:
- A large investment institution where you’ll get kicked down the hall to a person low on the totem pole
- A run-of-the-mill investment advisor where you’ll likely get adequate-ish service from someone with sub-par credentials and experience
- A robo-advisor where your money is invested via an algorithm and rebalanced according to a calendar – not the current market environment
The Evervestment difference.
We’re excited because we think our new digital investing platform offers the best of both worlds: a digital user experience and human portfolio management. Here’s why we believe make Evervestment the ideal alternative to typical robo-advisors:
Tax loss harvesting – For those non-finance dorks out there, this simply means we take a loss on an investment that has gone down to help offset capital gains tax for stocks that have gone up.
Assets managed – Evergreen Gavekal has roughly $2.3 billion in assets under management (as of 05/31/2019). It’s true that there are bigger robo-advisors out there, but the majority manage less than $100 million.
Graduation to Private Wealth Management – This is the area of our business that caters to high net worth individuals and is our bread and butter. Once Evervestment clients reach the necessary threshold, we can seamlessly graduate them to PWM where they’ll get the white-glove service Evergreen Gavekal is known for.
Track record > algorithms – As we talked about previously, unlike robo-advisors, we have a track record (weathering multiple market cycles and some of the worst financial storms in history. We’ve been doing this well before Betterment, SoFi, SigFig, Wealthfront, Personal Capital, etc. were even coded into existence.
Hybrid active / passive strategies – We believe passive investing alone is too, well, passive. We augment passive investing with active portfolio rebalancing.
A human touch – Evervestment portfolios are constantly monitored by seasoned investment analysts and you’ll get an annual review with one of our CFPs.
We feel our comprehensive approach using a hybrid active / passive strategy – backed by an all-star team of investment pros and proven methodologies– truly puts us in a class of one.
Hope you’re still with us. As Red wrote to Andy Dufrense in Shawshank Redemption: “If you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little farther.”
So, how does this whole thing work? It’s actually pretty easy. Just hop over to our homepage, choose from one of two portfolio options: Door 1) Everglobal – globally-diversified investments; Door 2) Evercare – designed to invest in socially responsible companies, Whichever one tickles your fancy, just click “Invest now”.
Once you’ve selected your broad investment strategy, you’ll be asked a few questions to gauge your appetite for risk. (This isn’t a test, there are no wrong answers). Then, the program will provide a suggested asset allocation, or how much of your account should be invested in stocks vs bonds.
Now, you’re almost there. Just follow the prompt to Charles Schwab (who we use like a bank to “hold” your money for us to invest) and enter your information to open an account. Lastly, transfer funds into the account so we can put it to work. That’s it – your money is now being invested in the same types of strategies we’ve designed for clients with $10+ million.
So, not a millionaire? Invest like one anyway.
Check out our blog and discover more about us here.