A Letter From Our Founder
Updated: Mar 13
My name is Richard Sun, and I’m the Founder of alphaAI. Thanks for your interest in us! You’re probably wondering who we are, where we came from, and what we stand for. I’d love to answer those questions for you now.
Who am I?
I am the first generation in my family to be born in the United States. Like many others who have settled in this country, my parents immigrated here with hopes to achieve the American Dream.
Having come from humble beginnings, I have always had an interest in attaining financial independence. My parents believed the best way to do so was for me to be a doctor or a lawyer (something I’m sure at least a few of you can relate to), but life had other plans. By the time I was in college, I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I always had a natural affinity for math, so that’s what I majored in.
After graduating, I went into Finance. I started my career as an Investment Banker at Barclays where I got the chance to work on some high-profile deals, like the Dell acquisition of EMC. I learned a ton but ultimately found myself more passionate about investing in the stock market, so I left Barclays and joined a hedge fund in San Francisco. At the hedge fund, I learned a great deal about investing and got the chance to see first-hand how it’s done on Wall Street.
Most stock market trades are being made by machines.
While working on Wall Street, I realized that more than 90% of stock market trades are done by machines. That’s because AI-driven trading offers numerous benefits over human-driven trading. Machines are simply better equipped to deal with numbers than humans are. Machines can process more data, faster. And they make emotionless decisions. When it comes to generating consistent, risk-adjusted returns over a long period of time, it’s extremely hard to beat systematic, AI-driven strategies.
Wall Street caught on, but Main Street was left in the dust. While the 1% were reaping the benefits of AI-driven investing, the average investor was encouraged to employ antiquated buy-and-hold strategies. Passive strategies are sub-optimal because they are at the mercy of the markets. The bear market of 2022 was a prime example of where buy-and-hold fails.
It was clear that traditional investing advice wasn’t working for everyone.
Every time someone found out I worked as a professional investor, I would inevitably always get the same questions: “What’s the market going to do? Which stocks should I buy? What should I do to prepare my portfolio for this upcoming event?”
Everyone had heard the same, tired advice: “Diversify your portfolio. Invest in ETFs. Invest for the long-term.” It’s good advice, but people still wanted something more sophisticated. They wanted to know how they could maximize their gains while also reducing their losses. They wanted to be invested in the market without having to worry about their portfolios. These were things that were achievable, but not for the average person.
I saw a need to automate portfolio management.
I had considered recommending investment advisors and/or hedge funds, but their high minimums and fees meant they weren’t easily accessible to everyone. I felt that there must be a better way. That’s when I realized that, as a professional investor, my job could be broken down into a few key portfolio management functions: downside protection, risk management, diversification, and asset allocation.
So I set out to create a system that would automate all of these tasks. Doing so involved a lot of coding and a lot of math. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would actually have to use calculus again. I guess my math professors are getting the last laugh now.
I built everything from the ground up — just me, myself, and I. I lost track of how many prototypes I created. I spent years testing my systems on my own capital. I had the full entirety of my net worth being managed by these systems — I was all in. After three years of painstaking development, I was finally ready to show the world.
Join us in the future of investing!
In 2021, I founded alphaAI to make sure anyone and everyone could tap into the power of AI-driven investing. We have two simple goals: to help everyone achieve their investment objectives through automation and to do so at an accessible price. In finance, “alpha” is a measure of the active return on an investment. Higher alpha values are better than lower ones. The idea behind our name, alphaAI, is simple: use AI to generate alpha for our clients.
I believe that most of a traditional investment advisor’s job can be automated. Of course, there will always be a need for human touch, especially when it comes to more ambiguous strategies. But for 99% of people out there, automation can deliver results that are just as good, if not significantly better, and at just a fraction of the cost.
There are other services that provide automated passive investing, but passive investing only goes so far. As we saw in the bear market of 2022, active portfolio management, when done properly, can help significantly reduce losses and maximize gains. It’s time that these more sophisticated products and strategies were made available to everyone in a scalable and cost-effective way — and that’s where we come in.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this far and for your continued interest in alphaAI. If my story speaks to you, then consider joining us in the future of investing. Many others have already signed on to be a part of our Founder’s Class, and we would love to have you onboard too!
Founder @ alphaAI