006: Aaron Klein of Riskalyze on Why Human Financial Advisors are Better Than Robo-Advisors

006: Aaron Klein of Riskalyze on Why Human Financial Advisors are Better Than Robo-Advisors

Aaron Klein (@AaronKlein) is the CEO and Co-Founder of Riskalyze. Founded in 2011 with 3 employees, today Riskalyze serves thousands of financial professionals who manage over $139 billion on their platform and employs 100+ employees just 5 years later. Aaron’s led the company to twice being named one of the top 10 most innovative personal finance companies in the world by Fast Company Magazine. He’s also been honored by InvestmentNews as one of the Top 40 Under 40 in the financial planning industry.


“Imagine if you could provide a risk number for every client and custom build their portfolio to match it. This is Riskalyze.”

This conversation with Aaron was a lot of fun as it was the EAB podcast’s first venture into Fintech. For those of you unfamiliar, I was actually a Computer Information Systems major in college, so this conversation allowed me to combine my love of finance and tech, Aaron didn’t disappoint!

We cover a TON in this conversation, including:

  • How to avoid that awkward annual review conversation when a portfolio underperforms the S&P 500
  • The ONE THING in a changing world of robo-advisors that will ALWAYS differentiate true advisors (i.e. humans)
  • How do you scale a company from 3 employees to 100+ in just 5 years?
  • The book Aaron has reread multiple times and credits with much of the philosophy behind building Riskalyze
  • …and much more!

Already heard it once or twice? Please leave a short review here, and tell me which guests I should have on!



This episode is brought to you by BombBomb.com. Yeah, you heard me right, that’s the name of a really cool service I’m guessing you’ve never heard of… Let me ask you this, how many unread emails do you have sitting in your inbox right now? Well, it’s the same for your prospects that get bombarded with emails every day… Enter BombBomb.com, imagine combining YouTube with your favorite email delivery system like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, or InfusionSoft, well you’ve pretty much got BombBomb.

I tap the app on my iPhone or log into their website (I’m actually recording this right now on their service) and after shooting a quick video, selecting the list of clients or prospects I’d like to send it to, and pushing send – my video is in their inbox with a couple of minutes with my video to click right at the top.

YES, it’s that easy to actually get your message out there and communicated, nobody wants to read your emails! And by the way, it gives you all the analytics on the back end, who’s opened it, who’s watched the video and everything else you’d want to know.

Conor over at BombBomb has setup a special offer for all the Elite Advisor Blueprint listeners if you’d like to check it out, just go to bombbomb.com/brad to take advantage of a free 2 week trial to check it out for yourself. They also stand behind their product with a 30 day money back guarantee, so really nothing to lose. To get started, check it out at bombbomb.com/brad.

Scroll below for links and show notes… Enjoy!



5:30 “It’s kind of like if you could Google your ideal investments that match your portfolio and goals.”
5:55 Psychology of Riskalyze’s target audience for Riskalyze
7:20 Concept of the “Risk Number”, a tool for the advisor to turn a fearful investor into a fearless investor
8:15 How Riskalyze helps investors understand comparisons to S&P 500
10:50 Concept of Stress Testing, and how to use Risk Numbers in comparison
12:40 Risk the client wants versus the risk the client needs, and how Riskalyze helps the client understand this
14:20 Riskalyze’s backend 
15:40 Cash under the mattress
17:00 Where are financial and tech efforts going over next 5 years?
20:00 Importance of the behavioral coaching aspect of financial advisory
21:00 Comparison of robo-advisors to human advisors
22:30 Aaron shares his opinion on Wealthfront & betterment advisory products
25:00 The beginning of Riskalyze
26:00 The initial approach of Riskalyze and how that differs from today’s approach for the company
26:55 Riskalyze was a “successful failure”
28:00 The phenomenon of investors not buying and holding, but buying and ignoring
29:15 How Riskalyze was shifted to be geared more towards advisors
30:10 Making financial advisor’s information more accessible to investors
33:00 How do you scale quickly and successfully like you have?
37:00 Core values of a company, e.g. open and direct communication
37:30 Discussion on conflict over ideas and that being okay
38:30 Aaron wants the people in the company to “own” their work and their output
40:15 Any books that have been important to getting you where you are today?
42:00 Building a company is one of the hardest things that can be done
42:40 “The work of building a company is unnatural” 
44:00 Patrick Lenioni’s career
45:50 Ben Horowitz use of stories
46:25 What have you found to help the transition from 4 to 100 people working in the company?
48:00 Discussion on hiring process and important interview techniques
49:30 People who have experience versus people who have studied up on something
50:30 I’m looking to hire people for their strengths, not their lack of weaknesses”
51:50 Aaron’s biggest mistake has been in regards to the company
53:00 Why Riskalyze doesn’t match competing offers
55:30 Comparison to Steve Jobs and the original Macintosh team
57:00 Favorite advisor story
58:50 Favorite book, as far as business, that you’ve read—why? A most gifted book?
1:00:00 Was Riskalyze your entire idea?
1:00:30 First memory of money?
1:01:40 When you hear the word success, who do you think of and why?
1:03:15 What’s one piece of advice you can give everyone on the call today that has led to your success?


Read More


This information is provided through a strategic partnership between AE Wealth Management and Riskalyze. Although AE Wealth Management may promote and/or recommend the services offered by Riskalyze, we do not guarantee the accuracy or quality of their services.

Compliance Approval: AE05164320

Posted in

Brad Johnson

Subscribe for new episodes of The Elite Advisor Blueprint® Podcast.

Subscribe to Brad's Podcasts and Updates

Brad podcast v2

Also, get access to WealthManagement.com exclusive articles with key takeaways that you can put into action at your own practice!

Robert Glazer

081: Robert Glazer on Elevating Your Team and Creating a High Performing Company Culture

kirk lippold

080: Commander Kirk Lippold on USS Cole Al-Qaeda Attack & How to Lead in Times of Crisis – The Virtual Financial Advisor Series™

Maria Konnikova

079: Maria Konnikova on The Psychology of High-Stakes Poker and How it Applies to Financial Services

Simon Bowen

078: Simon Bowen on How to Use Visual “Whiteboarding” Models to Simplify the Complex – The Virtual Financial Advisor Series™