We spent years building sophisticated portfolios and tools for pension funds and were frustrated that we didn’t have access to the same solutions for our own personal investment portfolios, at an affordable price.
We built our platform to change that. For everyone.
Our goal is to deliver the power of these ‘Big Guy’ strategies to individual investors like you – online and at low cost.
FutureSafe delivers institutional-grade investment solutions to all investors.
What does this mean to you?
First, we provide access to the most sophisticated factor-based strategies that academic studies suggest are likely to out-perform the typical industry benchmarks such as the S&P500.
Additionally, in our Full-service implementations, these strategies are directly implemented in fractional shares of hundreds of stocks in your brokerage account. Because we do not use any wrappers such as ETFs or Mutual Funds for these strategies, you hold a sophisticated, scientifically and broadly diversified portfolio of hundreds of stocks and avoid the multiple layers of fees you are probably paying right now.
Second, we offer a fully-automated goals-based risk control panel that allows you to set a upside target and a loss-limit that acts as a safety net for your account. Our engine then manages these dynamically for you, with the goal of maximizing the chances of hitting your upside target without ending up below where you have set your safety net. We implement this transparently in your account by allocating a dynamically computed portion of your account to a portfolio of US Government Treasuries, immunized to minimize the effect of interest rate changes. We are unaware of any retail platform that permits that level of personalized risk control.
Third, our fees are fair and flat fee – you can choose between a flat monthly subscription fee of just $10 a month, if you use your own brokerage account, and you’ll still have full access to all our sophisticated Goal-Based Upside Targets and the ability to set a Safety Net, designed to work even if interest rates go against you and bond prices start to fall.
For our “Full Service” clients who choose to open an account directly on our platform, we hold hundreds of broadly diversified stocks and full stock-level tax-optimization, we charge a flat $100 monthly all-in fee that includes all our management fees, transaction fees, commissions, custody fees. There are no “nickel and dime” or hidden or embedded fee surprises.
FutureSafe offers various levels of automated investing including a Robo-Advisor style platform along with all the power of an intelligent Goal-Oriented investment engine that is designed to maximize your upside while securing your safety net.
- Our investment engine is the most sophisticated publicly available Goal Based engine we know of, which means that you’ll have cutting-edge adaptive Risk Control that you probably didn’t know was possible: We let you specify the maximum loss you are willing to bear and the upside target you are seeking on each account. Optimal’s GOOSE™ gives you incredibly powerful control over risk in your account by letting you set the downside floor and upside target goals for your account. Pension Funds do this all the time (just google “Liability Driven Investing” or “Asset Liability Management”) but it’s not usually offered to retail investors in a simple-to-use web UI like we do. This means that you can fund your goals (e.g. seeking a higher yield on your cash, sending kids to college, down payment for a house, or a level of retirement income) and know that the system is designed to secure a certain specified minimum level of income or wealth, but is still optimized to maximize upside!
- We provide access to the most sophisticated and scientific upside-seeking portfolios: Optimal’s Full Service implementation of your stock portfolio avoids using standard retail-marketed products like mutual funds or ETFs. Instead, where possible, we offer direct, stock-level access to sophisticated, scientifically diversified portfolios through ultra-high performance index strategies, eliminating layers of hidden and embedded fees – and opening up opportunities for tax-loss harvesting and other customization. Even when you invest in a well known benchmark like the S&P500, you’ll directly hold all 500 S&P stocks in your account! For our Robo-Plus and To-Go accounts, we use sophisticated optimized portfolios using low cost ETFs, designed to maximize your upside without violating your Safety Net.
Some folks like to think of as a “Next Gen” Robo Advisor that is designed to bring sophisticated goal based investing algorithms online, rather than an online rehash of old-school retail strategies built from traditional old-school retail products!
When you link your existing brokerage account with FutureSafe, we charge you a flat fee of $10/mo. Although you might incur transaction fees with your broker (check with them, many have moved to zero transaction fees), we also try and make sure that as far as possible we only use ETFs that are transaction-free and fee-free on your brokerage account platform. Most modern brokers offer at least a robust set of transaction-fee-free ETFs and we constantly update our portfolios to make sure you aren’t incurring any avoidable fees.
For our Full Service clients, we charge an flat monthly fee of $100 per month which probably covers (i) everything you expect it to cover, (ii) a bunch of things you might not have expected it to cover and (iii) layers of annoying embedded and hidden fees that you are probably paying now and don’t even know you are paying (such as Mutual Fund or Third Party Manager fees).
Here’s what our flat monthly $100 fee covers:
- Our Asset Management Fees
- All Trading Commissions, regardless of how often you trade
- Any other broker transaction fees such as ticket charges, settlement charges, regardless of how often you trade (but not SEC, NASDAQ or other statutory fees or taxes)
- Broker/Custodian fees, regardless of how many different accounts you choose to open with us
- Bank/ACH/Incoming Wire transfers (watch out though: your bank may charge you, but that’s between you and them!)
- All custodian statement fees, as long as you are ok with electronic statements. Our custodian will charge you for paper statements and we’ll pass that cost on to you with no additional mark up or service fees.
In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates investment advisers and their investment adviser representatives.
FutureSafe is offered by Optimal Asset Management, who is an SEC-registered Investment Advisor, with over $700M discretionary assets under management (primarily pension plan assets in institutional separately managed accounts).
Here are a couple of important SEC filings with relevant facts about our business:
Our form ADV filing is here:
And our part 2 Brochure here:
In addition, Optimal is a fiduciary to our clients. This fiduciary standard of care means that Optimal is legally obligated to always act in your best interest, and not ours.
The most important thing to understand is that FutureSafe does not actually hold your assets. We act as an advisor on your account, which is always held at a FINRA-regulated third party, which performs custodial, clearing and account-keeping such as Apex Clearing Corporation.
For instance, even your account statements will clearly reflect the fact that they were prepared by the FINRA-regulated third party, not by Optimal.
For FutureSafe To-Go clients, your accounts are with the Custodial and Clearing agents that you have selected with when you made your choice of brokerage account.
We act as advisors, which means that we take on the responsibility of trading the holdings within your account in accordance with the risk preferences you set through the risk control panel.
Specifically, your money and assets are held in your brokerage account titled in your name, and are always segregated from all other client accounts. Furthermore, your assets are SIPC insured up to $500k, for each type of account you open. The details are all spelled out here.
For the US equity portion of your Full Service account, your money is directly invested in US stocks. We do not use any ETFs, mutual funds or expensive outside managers for US Stocks. As a result, Full Service clients will never incur any pesky layers of embedded or hidden management fees for this portion of the account.
For safe bond exposure you will hold ultra-low-cost US Treasury Bond ETFs or other inexpensive instruments.
For FutureSafe To-Go and Robo-Plus clients, we use low-cost ETFs.
Our interactive risk control panel allows you to set a “safety net” and “upside target” for your account over a desired time horizon. This panel connects to the Goal Optimizing Outcome Shaping Engine (that we lovingly refer to as GOOSE®) which then calculates a mix of stocks and bonds that maximizing the chance of hitting your upside target account level without going below your downside floor account level. This engine is regularly monitoring your account to help you reach your goals.
FutureSafe allocates assets like the big institutions do, aiming to ensure that you have the highest possible exposure to equities for upside, while minimizing the risk that you lose more than you can afford for your investment goal (e.g. like a down payment on your new home).
Asset allocation is automatically and directly based on the risk levels you set in GOOSE.
Here is how risk control works in practice:
- You use the GOOSE’s control panel to set the dollar-level of risk (i.e. your safety level level, also known as your downside floor and upside target) for the account
- You can update GOOSE levels at any time without incurring additional costs
- We generally trade your account on the next trading day (or as soon as is practical), allocating between the upside seeking portfolio of your choice and a “safe portfolio” of US Treasury Bonds (that we try and immunize to interest rate changes), to maximize the chances of hitting your upside target without ending up below your downside floor.
If you choose to simply invest in one of the equity portfolios and disable your GOOSE risk control settings, the account will have zero allocation to US Treasury Bonds.
There is no lock up. It is always your money, in your account, legally titled to you at all times and never co-mingled with anyone else. You can allocate/ de-allocate to strategies, adjust risk controls and transfer cash in and out of your account on any day at no extra cost.
FutureSafe To-Go clients will likely incur trading costs based on their account, you should check with your broker.
This is exactly one of the reasons why you have chosen to investment with FutureSafe.
Through FutureSafe’s intuitive and groundbreaking GOOSE® process you can set your downside floor. Our systems and portfolio management team’s overriding goal is to keep you above this floor at the end of your investment horizon.
Yes, Full Service clients will receive quarterly account statements and trading confirmations. Forms like your 1099 are also available via your web-portal.
If you are using a linked account, you will continue to use your current broker to obtain statements.
Go to https://invest.optimalam.com. It takes about 5 minutes to create or link an account. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help.
FutureSafe To-Go clients can transfer assets to their linked account exctly as they already do. We will liquidate any unrecognized positions and trade into the positions based on the allocation determined by the Investment Engine.
For Robo-Plus and Full Service clients, most transfers happen painlessly through an automated all-electronic process known as an ACATS transfer. We do not charge a fee for an ACATS transfer.
For Full-Service clients, we know that transfers of some 401k and IRAs can on some rare occasions be a hassle depending on where the assets are coming from (we’re not naming names, but we know who you are!). To makes these rare cases as painless as possible, we offer a complementary transfer-concierge service that is experienced in these account transfers, and can usually handle most of the hassle for you electronically. Email us at email@example.com.
You can also directly link your bank account to your FutureSafe Robo-Plus or Full Service account allowing you to transfer money in and out without incurring any processing fees, or of course, just wire the money in.
We offer two types of accounts – linked accounts and Full Service accounts.
When you link an account, you are using your existing broker relationship and using us to manage the trades in the account. We charge a flat $10 monthly fee.
If you open a new account through us, you can open almost any type of account, including (rollover) IRA’s, Roth, individual or joint accounts, or trust accounts. The account opening process is usually entirely digital and happens within the browser (except for Trusts, which sadly involves a few extra hoops that we’ll help you with).
Most accounts can be approved immediately online, provided that we can verify your identity and you can pass our identity theft protection checks. In rare cases, you might be asked to provide additional documentation, which you can send us through our secure upload process.
There are no account minimums for linked accounts.
For Full Service accounts, our minimum investment is $100,000, which we are known to waive, but you’ll need to reach out through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accounts below $10,000 are always free, whether linked or Full Service.