It’s been a while since I last interviewed a CEO of a San Francisco-based tech startup so I’m pleased to share an interview I did with Bo Lu, the CEO of FutureAdvisor. FutureAdvisor is an algorithmic money manager as opposed to Personal Capital, which employs human financial advisors to help clients manage their money. The target clientele is quite different due to the services offered, the asset management threshold, and the corresponding pricing.
I was introduced to Bo through Sam Yount who used to work at Personal Capital as the VP of Marketing and now works at FutureAdvisor in the same capacity. Sam was the one who brought me in to Personal Capital’s Redwood City headquarters to speak to Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital and Jim Del Favero, CPO back in the summer of 2013 for an hour and a half. Now I’m fulfilling one of my bucket lists of working at a startup part-time thanks to Sam’s intro. You can read more about my interview with Bill here.
The one thing I can say about the San Francisco startup world is that it’s a pretty tight community. Everybody eventually knows everybody, which is why you never want to burn any bridges. There’s a “brothers in arms” type of feeling among competitors given everyone appreciates we’re all trying to create something meaningful. Most of us fail at creating a sustainable product or never get amazingly wealthy, which is why humility is a good ongoing trait to have.
I invited Bo over to play tennis and chat about business in between games. I’m fascinated by the entrepreneur’s story and I hope you’ll find this interview insightful. Bo shares his thoughts about the future of the online wealth management business, immigrating to America, why he decided to leave his job at Microsoft, the Y Combinator experience, and more.