Post-recession Americans don’t think as much about retirement as we did before 2008. Most of us realize we’ll be working hard for a long, long time.
Still, every little bit helps, and for those of us lucky enough to still have 401(k)s, making them work for us is only a good thing. Unfortunately, since most of us also aren’t day traders, that means we pay almost no attention to those quarterly statements we get.
Enter CoPiloted. Founded in 2013, this Boston-based startup helps you figure out how to maximize your 401(k). They have an algorithm that matches your risk capacity, goals, and life stage to the funds you should be investing in. They work like a professional money manager, but at a fraction of the cost.
Check out our Q&A with the CoPiloted team below, and let us (and them!) know what you think.
What is your startup called?
What’s the story behind your idea?
We actually wrote a blog post about this! Initially, we were designing tools for high net worth individuals and investors to use to manage a wide variety of accounts. Over time, we realized that the techniques we were developing could be applied to the retirement accounts of ‘regular’ investors. So rather than build a little business designed to help a few rich people get even richer, we decided to build a service that would benefit a much larger group, namely all Americans who are saving for retirement. And in doing so, be able to make a meaningful difference to their quality of life while saving up for, and during their retirement years.
Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?
Jeremy De Bonet is our CEO. He’s led a number of tech startups including Skyward Mobile, MobiTV, and Assemble Media. He’s got a BS in Applied Mathematics from Columbia, and a MS in Computer Science from MIT.
Michael Bolotski is our CIO and, as an SEC registered Investment Advisor Representative, has fiduciary responsibility for all CoPiloted clients. He holds a number of patents, and has held positioning at MicroDisplay, Human Capital Fund, Skyward Mobile, and Evri. He earned his PhD from MIT.
Tina Bronkhorst is our CMO and is responsible for marketing communications. She’s held past positioning at Rue La La, Digitas, and Razorfish, and has a BS from Bridgewater State University and an MBA from Suffolk University
Where are you based?
Tina and Jeremy are based in Boston. Michael is located in Seattle.
What problem do you solve?
From research we conducted last year, we know that people don’t manage their retirement plans properly — or at all. It’s due to a combination of factors: lack of expertise, general inertia, lack of time, and the prohibitively high cost of professional assistance. Regardless of the root cause, the effect is the same: retirement accounts get neglected, and don’t grow anywhere near as much as they should. The potential growth over lifetimes of savings is simply lost.
CoPiloted fixes this with a completely turn-key solution.
CoPiloted measures a user’s risk level, selects appropriate investments, determines when to buy, sell and rebalance their accounts, and can actually make the transactions on their behalf.
What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?
We launched our free service in August, 2013, and on January 1, 2014 launched our Managed Accounts service, which not only provides users with recommendations of which funds they should own, but makes those trades for them inside of their account.
What are your next milestones?
In the first quarter of 2014, we hope to…
* grow our client base
* understand their issues and what more we can do to help them
* continue to eliminate friction in the enrollment process
* provide great financial advice
* help a lot of people
Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?