Andy Rachleff is the co-founder & CEO of Wealthfront
Andy Rachleff is the co-founder & CEO of Wealthfront
Andy Rachleff is the co-founder & CEO of Wealthfront

Wharton FinTech co-founder and former podcast host, Daniel McAuley, is joined by former podcast guest, Andy Rachleff — co-founder & CEO of Wealthfront, the only company that integrates banking and investing to automate your savings.

We discuss:

  • Andy’s storied and career as both an investor and entrepreneur
  • His experience coming out of retirement to found Wealthfront
  • The ride of day trading app such as Robinhood
  • Whether payment for order flow is good for retail investors
  • The current crypto bull run
  • Market bubbles and what investors can do in today’s environment
  • Self-Driving Money™ and Wealthfront’s future
Wealthfront’s Andy Rachleff — On…

Spot the difference

Part 1: Measure Twice, Cut Once

This post was first published on The Craft, Faire’s technical blog. It is the first in our multi-part series on accelerating decision-making using A/B Testing.

Like many hypergrowth startups, Faire uses experimentation to quickly iterate on our product and make better decisions. However, unlike many of our peers that serve consumer markets of hundreds of millions or even billions of potential users, our marketplace is built for small businesses, of which there are roughly 30 million in the United States [0]. Coupled with the fact we are barely three years old, this means that sample sizes for our experiments tend…

Methods for companies devoted to the truth

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The Experimenting Society

I just read The Experimenting Society, an essay by Donald T Campbell, the Social Scientist known for coining the term “evolutionary epistemology” and developing a selectionist theory of human creativity. In it, he lays out what a future society devoted to science, reason and truth through intellectual humility might look like. While reading his description of “the experimenting society” I couldn’t help but notice he was describing the way I have always imagined a great company should be run. …

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I recently read Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott as part of leadership training that we are doing at Faire. I’m not normally a fan of recently-written business books but I was really impressed by Radical Candor. The advice is highly relevant to anyone looking to build and lead effective teams using a foundation of meaningful relationships and direct communication. Below are some of my notes from the book.

Introduction

  • You can draw a straight line from lack of guidance to a dysfunctional team that gets poor results.
  • At Apple, as at Google, a…

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I recently read Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown. I highlighted and took notes on points that I found helpful and questions that I asked myself. If you work on or with a growth team I recommend reading the book for practical advice and ideas.

Introduction

  • How much drop off is there from people who get invited to those that sign up and why? (Page 4)
  • Dropbox offered more storage in lieu of credit or money. What do our users value disproportionately? (page 7, 167)
  • “We looked at the experiments twice a week…” Does this imply that rigorous AB…

Photo by Hareesh Balu on Unsplash

Believe it or not, the point of this blog post is not about investing. Or Monkeys for that matter. If you’re ok with that, please read on.

I spent the first five years of my career in quantitative finance writing algorithms to predict stock prices. Much of that time was spent reading other people’s research to find ideas to incorporate into my models. Most of these papers were technical and pretty dry but once in a while, I’d come across something that was refreshingly straightforward and concise.

One such paper was The Surprising Alpha From Malkiel’s Monkey and Upside-Down Strategies

I have noticed that when I bring up the topic of “metrics” in Silicon Valley people seem to either love me or hate me. Tracking and possibly acting on some measure that you believe captures an important dimension of your business or product is a productivity panacea for some and a myopic creativity killer for others. Regardless of how strongly you feel about the benefit of defining and tracking metrics, if you decide to do so it is worth spending the time to think about the why and how of metric design. …

Good Things Come to Those Who Can’t Wait, Part 1

This post was coauthored with Allen Sirolly and is the first post in our two-part series on arrival rate bias correction in A/B Testing. We are very grateful to our Wealthfront Data Science colleague, Hsiu-Chi Lin, for his invaluable input. Part 2 may be found here.

“people walking on sidewalk” by rawkkim on Unsplash

Like many technology companies, Wealthfront uses in-product testing and experimentation to learn and make decisions. In particular, we leverage in-product A/B testing of our existing client base to understand how product decisions cause changes in behavior. However, there are characteristics of our product and business that complicate conducting these experiments and making valid inferences…

To be or not be: that is the question

We all know the advice given by Prudentius that “patience is a virtue”. As a boy, I heard this aphorism with alarming regularity in the form of admonition from my mother. As an adult, I learned to appreciate the value of forbearance as I invested in my future through education. And today, I work for a company trying to change its industry along with the lives of millions of people, which, of course, will not happen overnight.

How poor are they that have not patience!

-Iago, Othello

On the other hand, the early bird catches the worm, there’s much to…

What I look for when hiring

Context

I am currently hiring another data scientist to join our growing team at Wealthfront. During the process I have continued to calibrate what I look for when evaluating candidates. While participating on a panel discussion for Wharton FinTech in San Francisco earlier this week, I shared my short list with the students in the room. Someone joked that I should write a blog post to codify what I said. I agreed. Little did they know I was serious.

The following framework enumerates three critical dimensions that I try to assess when hiring, although it doesn’t describe everything I look…

Daniel McAuley

data science @instagram danielmcauley.com

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