Smartfolio

smartfolio reviewSmartFolio is investing software that manages portfolios according to the investor's risk personality.  It's available for download directly from the company website, from a company called Modern Investment Technologies.

Modern Investment Technologies launched SmartFolio wayyyy back in 2004.  The company itself was only founded two years later, just so they could capitalize on the product's commercial applications.

Based in Moscow, Modern Investment Technologies offers little background on who they are, except what I've already told you.  Resorting to whois.net, I discovered that the servers hosting the site are in Russia (no surprise there, since it's a Russian company).  I also discovered that they first registered their domain in 1999, which according to some is before the age of the internet (it's not…I'm just making a joke).

So What Does SmartFolio Do?

SmartFolio will manage risks in your investment portfolio, allocating assets according to the individual's tolerance to risk in the stock market.

About risk tolerance. 

Some investors want a safer bet so their mix tends towards the safer stocks: solid companies involved in productive industries that are currently experiencing high profit margins.

Other investors have a little “play” in their budgets and want to go for higher returns with riskier stocks.  These would include stocks in startup companies, emerging markets, risky industries, and “unknowns”.

Finally, some investors fall somewhere in between the two extremes.  These are investing personalities, and they figure into how every individual portfolio is created.

Portfolio mixes, explained.

Also figuring into the investment formula is age, income, and assets.  The closer you get to retirement, the safe you have to be with at least some of your money.  You don't want to get caught empty-handed when you're ready to retire.

If your income is still growing fast, you can be a bit riskier, but that also depends on how much debt you have.  See?  It's a complicated formula and each investor is totally different from the rest.

Figuring Out The Investment Formula: That's where SmartFolio comes in.

smartfolio reviewUsed to be, investment advisers carefully crafted the right blend of risky stocks, safer stocks, and bonds to create the perfect portfolio for you.  Now software can do that in less time and for far less money than paying someone who had to go to school and take very expensive exams to become certified to perform that task for you.

It's called “asset allocation software” and we're starting to see it everywhere now- but usually as a service from a financial company.  SmartFolio offers you the direct download so you can purchase the software yourself.  I haven't seen this anywhere else, actually.

SmartFolio Free Trial!! Try Before You Buy

You may download a free trial version of SmartFolio from their website or from CNET.  It will expire, of course, so here's what the pricing looks like:

  • Permanent corporate license: $5,999
  • Permanent Individual License for 1 machine: $599
  • 1-year license for 1 machine: $199

Several sources report that customer service is excellent on this product, even though it is based in Russia.  There is a copious amount of technical documentation available on the company website, including a scary and extremely lengthy PDF showing how their formulas work.

This is a product for people who know a bit about investing and a lot about technology.  Expect to call tech support during the installation and setup processes (you've been warned) but you can also expect expert-level help.

It's surprising that nobody has tried to capitalize on this software, meaning purchasing it and then selling the services.  Of course there's a barrier to entry on this sort of thing and it's called “licensing”.  One must take a difficult exam and pay to become licensed in order to sell financial products.

Seems a company in Canada has done just this: BMO Financial Group advertises their “SmartFolio” service, making no bones about where their technology originates. It's for Canadians only.  Also, they use it to manage portfolios full of ETFs.

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