Personal finance doesn’t have to be hard. Save money, and invest the difference so that you can reach your financial goals and let your money work for you.
But, what should you invest in? Don’t you wish you could invest like the hedge funds, but avoid the hefty price tag for the advice?
That’s where Titan Invest can help. After using the investing app for a few months, here’s my personal Titan Invest review.
What is Titan Invest?
Titan Invest seeks to be the first premier investing platform for retail investors, providing access to Wall Street caliber investment management to the masses, with low minimums and no lockups.
The story of Titan starts with its founders, two ex-hedge fund vets who were fed up with the divide between Wall Street and main street.
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In 2018 they left their high-paying jobs and set out to build a world-class investment manager that anyone could access. Two years later, Titan has grown to more than 25,000 investors with over $500 million in assets under management (AUM).
Unlike conventional investing apps like Betterment or Wealthfront, Titan doesn’t invest their clients into publicly traded ETFs or mutual funds. Rather, they have an internal investment team that actively manages a collection of investment strategies designed to outperform the market.
Their unique approach seems to be working, as they ranked #1 out of 60+ advisors for returns in 2020, according to third-party benchmarking firm Backend Benchmarking. Titan also won “Top Advisor of 2020” by U.S News and “Advisor of the Year” at the 2020 Benzinga Fintech Awards.
Titan claims to have an old-school investment approach.
“Our underlying investment philosophy is simple. We identify a rare breed of investments known as “compounders” and hold on tight”Titan Chief Investment Officer Clay Gardner
Titan’s active management approach makes them unique in the space, and they are the only “robo advisor” we know of that actively manages their clients’ capital, if you can even label them a “robo advisor”.
What is also unique about Titan is their commitment to making their clients smarter investors. “We give our clients courtside seats to the action. We publish daily research content via our app, and make sure that our clients always understand the what and the why behind their investments. It’s like having an investment manager in your pocket”, says Clay Gardner.
How Titan Invest Manages Your Portfolio
Titan has two investing strategies: Titan Flagship, which focuses on U.S large cap growth stocks, and Titan Opportunities, which focuses on finding under the radar companies in the small/mid cap range.
The underlying investment philosophy for each strategy is the same: Find ~20 of the best companies in the world and hold on tight for the long run. The ~20 stocks in each strategy are chosen by the investment team using bottom’s up fundamental analysis, and a mixture of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Titan’s CIO, Clay Gardner, has a storied past working at some of the best hedge funds in the world.
In true hedge fund style, each strategy also comes with a “personalized hedge”, which offers important downside protection. The personalized hedge feature is managed by the investment team (clients don’t have to do anything) and will adjust according to the team’s quantitative and qualitative assessment of portfolio downside risk. For example, if your investment portfolio is declining significantly vs. the index, Titan’s team may move more of your capital into the hedge, or vice-versa.
Titan Flagship (full tear sheet)
- Description: Flagship is a U.S. large-cap growth strategy. It seeks to invest in equities of market-leading U.S.-based companies with over $10B in market capitalization. The objective is to outperform the S&P 500 over a 3-5 year horizon.
- Target Performance: 15%+ annualized returns
- Historical Performance: 20.6% annualized returns
Titan Opportunities (full tear sheet)
- Description: Opportunities is a U.S. small/mid cap growth strategy. It seeks to invest in equities of market-leading U.S.-based companies under $10B in market capitalization. The objective is to outperform the Russell 2000 over a 3-5 year horizon.
- Target Performance: 15%+ annualized returns
- Historical Performance: 219% annualized (*not representative of future returns – launched in 8/17/2020)
Pricing for Titan Invest
Titan charges an annual advisory fee of 1% of assets (billed monthly, i.e. 1% / 12 = 0.08% per month) for all clients with $10K+ of net deposits.
If a client has less than $10K of net deposits, they instead pay a fixed $5 monthly fee.
While this may seem like a high fee compared to other robo advisors, it’s important to note that Titan is not really a robo advisor — they are built like a premier active manager — and they do not charge performance fees.
Conventional hedge funds charge anywhere from 15% to 20% in performance fees, on top of the management fee, which is commonly 2% of assets per year.
They also have a referral program once you sign up, that allows you to drop the advisory fee by 25% for every referral you make.
You can open an account and start investing with Titan Invest right away, as they have a low $100 minimum investment for Individual accounts and $500 for IRAs.
Here’s what CIO Clay Gardner had to say about their fee structure:
“When it comes to fees, we believe “you get what you pay for,” and our clients would agree. For 1% annual fee, clients have the opportunity to outperform the market over the long run by investing in only the highest quality growth co’s (as we believe our strategies identify) and they stay more informed on their investments than anyone else with original research created by our dedicated investment team.”
Considering that Titan Invest provides an in-depth investment research team working for you, plus a personalized hedge aiming to minimize losses in downturns, the higher-than-average annual fee could be worth it.
More on Titan Fees here: https://support.titanvest.com/en/articles/1474026-fees
Who Should Use Titan
Titan is great for investors who want to take a hands-off approach, but also want to be in the know about their investments.
Titan is also great for those who are interested in learning more about investing. Titan publishes daily content in the app, and delivers insights in a way that are easily digestible.
Who Shouldn’t Use Titan
Titan isn’t a do-it-yourself option, so investors who want to actively manage their own portfolios might not be a great fit for Titan.
Titan also might not be for the “set it and forget it” crowd of passive investors. Investors who are happy with a vanilla ETF/mutual fund likely won’t see the value in Titan’s strategy.
Pros & Cons
- High-quality investment management
- High returns, seeks to outperform the market
- Top-notch research and content
- Low minimums, no lockups
- Higher fees than other investing apps
- Only offers equity products
- Limited account types (no custodial accounts)
Titan vs Betterment vs Robinhood
Betterment vs. Titan
The primary difference between Betterment (and other “passive” robo advisors) and Titan is their underlying investment philosophy: passive vs. active management. Betterment passively invests their clients into a series of ETFs, while Titan actively manages their strategies in-house.
Clay Gardner explains “We believe in healthy concentration, and only invest our clients into what we believe are the best companies in the world.”
Robinhood vs. Titan
Robinhood and Titan are very different by nature, with Robinhood being a brokerage firm similar to the likes of Fidelity and E*Trade. While Robinhood allows investors access to the stock market to manage their own portfolios, they don’t offer any managed investment services.
Titan on the other hand is an SEC-registered RIA, and takes the position of investment manager for its clients.
How is Titan different?
Wall Street typically tells average investors to run along and put their money in an ETF, but then shifts their tone for the ultra-wealthy, giving them access to the best investment strategies and resources. This divide didn’t sit well with Titan, so they built a world-class active investment manager for everyone.
With Titan you’ll have access to two things: the highest quality actively-managed investments and a world-class experience, with no lock ups or high minimums. Unlike conventional investing apps, Titan doesn’t invest their clients into publicly traded ETFs or mutual funds. Rather, they have an in-house investment team that actively manages a series of investment strategies designed to outperform the market.
Titans has an old-school investment approach: identify a rare breed of investments known as “compounders” and hold on tight. Titan’s goal is to “compound” your wealth on average 15% or more annually, which implies doubling at least every 5 years.
They currently offer two investment strategies, with plans to launch multiple more in 2021. Each investment strategy has the same underlying investment philosophy: find ~20 of the best companies in the world and hold on tight for the long run. The ~20 stocks are chosen by the investment team using bottoms-up fundamental analysis, and a mixture of quantitative and qualitative analysis.
Titan also gives their clients courtside seats, delivering daily updates through their app so clients always know the what and the why behind their investments. It’s like having an investment manager in your pocket.
Titan is the investing authority that gives everyday investors access to premiere investment opportunities and, by harnessing technology that had typically only been reserved for consumer sectors, brings them right to the front row of their money so they become the smartest investors they’ve ever been.
Is Titan Legit?
So is Titan Invest legit? In short, yes it is. They have been featured as a top robo advisor in some of the best pulications such as TechCrunch, U.S. News, Benzinga, and Investment News.
- TechCrunch: Titan Nabs $12.5M for ‘next generation’ investment management
- U.S News: 2020 Top Investment Advisor
- Benzinga 2020 Best Robo-Advisor: 2020 Global Fintech Awards
- Backend Benchmarking: Robo Report Q4 2020
- TechCrunch: Titan launches it’s mobile “not a hedge fund”
- Investment News: The robo-advisor that shorted the market and won
Titan Invest Review Summary
After using the app for a few months, I’ve found Titan Invest to stick to their strategy well. My personal returns beat the market and other robo advisors during the same time period.
Plus, they do a great job of keeping you updated on what stocks they are holding/selling via email on a daily basis. For the busy investor, they do a perfect job of keeping you informed and making sure your money is working for you.
Just keep in mind that the 1% fee is higher than most robo advisors. But the returns may be worth the higher fees since Titan Invest can deliver on performance.
Where to invest $500 right now
Fundrise is a very easy-to-use app that allows individuals to access crowd-funded real estate investing. This option is best for users who want to make money consistently and let their money make them money.
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SoFi Automated Investing's range of low-cost ETFs and free management make it an attractive option for cost-conscious investors.