Investing has always meant taking a big risk with your money, but does it have to?
My co-founder and I launched Odo, a fintech startup sitting in between world-class investment banks and the average person, giving non-accredited investors — in other words, most of us! — access to the same strategies institutional investors use to grow wealth safely — and I want to tell you why.
Right now, as I write this in May of 2022, those who are invested are feeling the pain of loss much much more. The stock market is experiencing a terrible decline, and it’s not going to rocket right back like it did when COVID-19 first hit. Those who are not invested are having their anxieties confirmed.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that, over years and decades, investing is critical to growing wealth and being in better financial health. We must overcome the fear and do it, at about every income level.
Investing means taking a risk with your money
Not investing is really hurting us. One estimate says avoiding the stock market can cost Millennials up to $3.3 million over the course of their lifetime. That’s tragic, and will become a big public burden as us well-meaning mattress-stuffers go unprepared into retirement.
This is how we’re wired. Humans hate losing money — it’s estimated that we feel the pain of losing money about twice as much as we feel the joy of gaining it.
Let’s say you’ve taken the plunge and started buying stocks or index ETFs. One week, your investments gain 5%. The next week, they lose what they gained.
Your money’s worth the same as when you started, but you feel worse.
How do the wealthy survive a financial downturn?
My wife is a pediatric eye surgeon, and that “M.D.” after her name has led many to think we’re rich. (We’re not. Oh, student loans…) But we get a lot of cold calls from companies offering us safer investment products — annuities, complex life insurance products — all different ways to grow wealth or save for retirement while minimizing loss. This always stuck with me — if the wealthy have tools to prevent loss, why aren’t they available to the rest of us?
Well, they should be. And that’s why I started Odo.
Here’s the problem: Only accredited investors (people who are already wealthy) can work with investment banks and access the tools to grow money in a way that protects them from some loss. They aren’t available to the people who need them most because the SEC requires people to be accredited (i.e., able to demonstrate they have the assets to handle certain risk) to invest in securities that are not registered with the SEC.
By bridging that gap, Odo is able to help our members minimize loss. Here’s how it works….
Understanding “low volatility” investing
The stock market can change quickly. Ups and downs can be rapid, unpredictable, and severe.
The S&P 500, for example, has returned 7.46% annually since 2004… but along the way, it experienced drops of around 50% of value and at other times jumped even more. It was quite a ride, and some people can’t stomach — or literally cannot afford — to wait out the down times. If you bought into the S&P 500 on January 1, 2008… you had to wait over 4 years for it to recover in value.
Many institutions can’t stomach that volatility any more than you or I can. If you’re a large pension fund, for example, you can’t just lose half of your fund’s value and wait several years for it to return. For them, just like for many of us, it’s really important to avoid a major loss of investment value, even if it means not always getting the maximum returns from the market.
So, many institutions and rich people hire world-class investment professionals to keep volatility low while still seeking meaningful investment returns. This is called low volatility investing. (The pros like to call it just “low vol”.) The professionals are constantly managing stocks, bonds, cash, and other assets to hit their goals.
For most of us, low volatility means we can stick with investing. We don’t see our accounts drop, we don’t feel too much anxiety, and we can keep going.
Odo is partnering with one of the world’s largest investment banks to bring the same low volatility investment strategies that some of the world’s wealthiest institutions use… to you. And we think it’s one of the best low volatility strategies we’ve seen, giving really good investment gains while still keeping volatility low.
How investing with Odo works
This investment bank (whose name we can reveal soon) doesn’t sell their securities directly to the public mainly because of those SEC requirements I mentioned above. However, Odo can make their strategies available to you by becoming the bridge between bank and individual.
These investment pros are really good at what they do. They are partnering with Odo exclusively to make one particular strategy — an actively managed, low volatility index fund which still gets great returns — available to you.
See it in action with backtested performance data from 2004 through March 2022 on the chart & table below — the major drops or climbs in value are smoothed out.
This index fund they’re making available through Odo has given over 5.10% annualized returns… while experiencing volatility of under 5%.
Now we can’t guarantee performance, of course. However, our investment bank partner’s expertise and skill gives us the confidence to offer you something I don’t think you can get elsewhere: principal protection to get started investing.
That’s right. For the first 6 months or $1,000 you invest with Odo, you can’t lose the money you put in. (That money is called your principal.)
How can we guarantee that? It’s a lot like an insurance policy, actually. In simplest terms, the bank is contractually agreeing to sell us something called a warrant. (This is very similar to a call option in the open market.)
Odo will pay a fee so that if the value of the index fund drops at all, you don’t have any loss. See, a lot like insurance!
The investment bank is building this index with one goal in mind: great annual returns, without ever seeing a major loss.
After the honeymoon period is up, you’ll be able to directly invest in this proprietary “low volatility” index fund, and there’s no limit to how much you can invest. $1.00? $1 million? Whatever you have under that mattress of yours.
How does Odo make money? Is this too good to be true?
Odo makes money in a few ways. There’s a small monthly fee to join our platform, and over time, we’ll offer other banking and financial services that can make money, too. We will also partner with brands to offer sponsored contests to encourage investing with Odo, and some optional financial offers like consolidating your student loan.
Our investment bank partner makes money by selling us the warrants, and a little bit by managing the fund. This is called an “expense ratio”, and is a small percentage of all of the dollars invested into the fund.
We’ll always be clear and transparent about how and when we and our partners make money.
Our goal is and has always been to bring safer investing to the masses, and we’re able to do this by aligning interests between what the investment bank needs (more customers) and what individual investors need (a safer way to start investing). This way, we all grow together.
Never has there been a more important time to give the everyday investor the same tools to grow wealth safely that the wealthy already enjoy. (Unless you count 2008, but we can’t go back in time, sorry.) If you’d like to be one of the first to invest with Odo and gain access to loss-protection and our proprietary low volatility index, join the waitlist at https://www.odo.works/waitlist
Odo will be unleashed in waves, so only the people at the very top will get first access. To improve your spot on our leaderboard, start referring friends! After all, growing wealth is always better when we do it together, right?