Brendon_Wong comments on Introducing Antigravity Investments: Free Investment Management for the EA Community - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Brendon_Wong 10 July 2017 06:45:34PM 2 points [-]

Thanks for your comment, those are great questions!

A. In our current plan, profits should come from outside the EA community with our general market and nonprofit offerings, allowing us to provide investing services to EAs for free, so we are not decreasing funding for other high impact organizations. That's how the EA-directed hedge fund we are in contact with is offering their investing strategies for free to EAs as well; 100% of their revenue comes from charging non-charitable clients. The funding part was regarding funders that wanted to have a charitable impact by increasing our speed of growth and probability of success in our initial stages of development. We do not strictly require funding to get started as evidenced by the fact that we're already managing capital and providing EAs with advising services. The code we've written should continue to work with minimal maintenance for at least several years. Funding would certainly be helpful in covering expenses at first, such as access to better curated academic research. The best case scenario is that funding allows us to scale rapidly and significantly help the broader charitable sector as well as generate funds to donate, and the worst case is that the funding does not help with scalability that much and EAs get free investment management at a higher level of development (at the cost of missing other funding opportunities as you mentioned).

B. Automated advisors like Betterment and Wealthfront don't provide any sort of support when it comes to donating appreciated securities. A wealth manager charging high fees in exchange for personalized attention might be able to offer this service but that's probably not accessible for too many people. We are exploring the possibility of offering donor advised fund services with Rethink Charity and are in active talks with another nonprofit, and that could cleanly integrate with the donation of appreciated securities from our investment platform. We can build in features that select optimal securities to donate at any given time and report tax saving metrics to donors.

C. We have live trading performance since December 2016, and the length of time since strategy development depends on the strategy. For instance the Swensen portfolio has been around since 2005, whereas the more recent allocative and systematic strategies have roughly 2 years of performance since creation. I think that there is a greater possibility of luck playing a significant role with traditional human investment management whereas with rules-based investing strategies one can assess the strategy in much greater detail and accuracy (for instance by testing across international markets and timeframes if applicable) instead of purely assessing performance after inception.