Michael McDaniel

Michael McDanielage 38

Co-founder and chief investment officer, Riskalyze

Fast Facts

  • Raises his own beef and makes his own wine
  • First job was picking up balls at local golf course
  • Guilty pleasure: raw, homemade chocolate-chip cookie dough

When Mike McDaniel isn’t managing client assets at his advisory firm or co-leading a software company focused on risk, he’s raising cows and making his own wine.

Managing what one eats and drinks is similar to managing finances. It takes great care, and a certain amount of passion.

Mr. McDaniel spends about 60 hours a week working as an adviser at McDaniel Wealth Management, a firm he started in 2005, and as chief investment officer of Riskalyze, the software company he co-founded in 2011.

Mr. McDaniel, who studied finance in college, joined a wirehouse as an adviser and spent about five years there before leaving to start his own firm. He also is using Riskalyze to reach and help significantly more investors than the ones he meets with as clients.

“Instead of having an impact on 50 households, now it’s hundreds of thousands of households,” he said.

Mr. McDaniel thinks investing is broken for two reasons. First, investor psychology hurts investors – they may know what they’re not supposed to do but they do it anyway. Second, the industry is too complex, with convoluted fee structures and unlimited investment options.

“I sincerely believe that the investment industry needs disruption to better serve mom-and-pop investors, and I am blessed to be playing a part in that disruption,” he said.

So he’s set his sights on helping, even if nobody sees him doing it.

“My focus on being stealth sets me apart,” he said. “I am more comfortable with team members being in the spotlight.”

– Alessandra Malito

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