4Thought Financial: Embracing the Future with the Right Technology Partner

When Jesse Mackey of New York-based 4Thought Financial Group opened an email from Folio Institutional during the summer of 2016, he liked what he read. He was searching for a custodian and technology partner to help take his firm to the next level. Folio seemed to fit the bill, said Mackey, who is 4Thought’s chief investment officer.

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“It was the investment platform and technology that drew us to Folio,” Mackey said. “With Folio, you have the integration of systems and technology. I can streamline my model management across all our business lines. It’s the integrated custody, model management and advisory tools, all in one package, that appealed to me.”

A month after getting Folio’s email, Mackey said 4Thought decided it would use Folio’s powerful investment platform to manage its $89 million in client assets across separately managed accounts, sub-advisory services, a turnkey asset management program (TAMP), robo-advisory services, and 401(k) solutions.

The Appeal of Folio’s Advisor ConnexionTM (AcX)

Another major draw, Mackey explains, was Advisor Connexion (AcX), a turnkey advisor-guided robo platform that automates onboarding and investment allocation for retail clients. Other custodians, he said, lacked an in-house solutions similar to AcX. They referred him to third parties whose software he would have had to "bolt on" to 4Thought's platform. That was a deal breaker for Mackey.

“The more we looked into it, there were problems with all of them,” said Mackey, talking about the robo advisor solutions other custodians had suggested. “Using an outside solution provider wasn’t what we wanted. With Folio, it’s all built in, and it’s included in the cost.”

Mackey said 4Thought got its robo advisor up and running with Folio in less time than it would have taken to work with another custodian. 4Thought has since further capitalized on the flexibility of AcX, which allows advisors to customize their own blend of automated and traditional advisory services.

4Thought uses AcX to automate onboarding new clients, including their investor questionnaire. Once that’s completed, 4Thought takes things a step further and subscribes clients to the investment models through AcX.

The robo advisor trend, in Mackey’s view, cannot be avoided, and advisors are wise to work with custodians who offer a practical, customizable, in-house solution.

“If you stick your head in the sand on robos, you’ll be left behind,” Mackey said. “Robos are now one critical aspect of a successful, long-term business model in our industry. It’s a trend that’s evolving, and you need to use the tools that are out there to the greatest extent possible.”

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4Thought Financial Group is an asset manager that serves its clients with a mix of proprietary formula-driven investment strategies and personalized advice from real human beings.

The firm uses multi-method investing—the simultaneous use of multiple investment methods to capitalize on four different types of market environments, expanding portfolio diversification to prepare investors for scenarios beyond the typical bull and bear markets.

4Thought serves the advisor community and institutional clients with portfolios that combine low cost management with high impact strategies. Its offerings include liquid, transparent alternatives to hedge funds and private equity, and specialized systematic investing strategies.

While the stories conveyed by our customers in the testimonials that appear on our website represent the actual experience of the individual or their firm, we do not represent that every customer will have a similar experience or that the testimonial is representative of the experiences of our other customers. None of our customers was paid for their testimonial. The firm uses our services but has no affiliation with Folio.