Local takes a different path than planned
Willms brothers developed software to track, manage investments and accounts for professional, personal use

By Cheryl Popp - Special to Conley Media

June 4, 2019

 Matt Willms began with athletics, switched to pre-med then turned to business and financial management software on the path that brought him to Mequon. He is shown in his office. QUANT IX SOFTWARE is located in Mequon.
Photo by Sheryl Popp

MEQUON — Out of high school, Matt Willms headed to UW-LaCrosse to pursue an athletic degree, thinking he would love to coach. He soon felt he needed a larger challenge and switched to pre-med.

Willms earned a degree in microbiology with a chemistry minor. He was accepted into medical school soon after college but had also recently become engaged.

“We wanted to start our family young,” said Willms. “With the tremendous time investment med school would take, we decided I wouldn’t go.”

Willms went back to school at Marquette to add some business classes and then earned his MBA at UW-Milwaukee. He then joined his brothers in business. They were developing a software program for the internal use of investment advising programs.

“This was before DOS, the early- to mid-eighties,” said Willms. “There was nothing out there for investment accounting and stock valuation tools for investors.”

CompuServe – the first major commercial online service provider – had an investing forum. The Willms brothers’ company and services were discussed there by a Chicago area business professor. That led to notice by the American Association of Individual Investors.

“Once we had developed a DOS version of our software, this led to us becoming known and available to investors,” Willms said.

They were also noticed by the service organization for investment clubs that had group software programs, but nothing for individuals. Matt and Peter Willms founded QUANT IX SOFTWARE Inc. in 1995. It is a tool for investment record keeping and portfolio management.

A subsidiary, the Willms Group, offers investment advisory services to residents of Wisconsin.

“But our niche is QUANT IX,” said Willms. “We are a popular tool because we can provide a full picture of asset allocations and our accuracy is great. Say an investor thinks he’s good with large cap technology stocks, but he’s unaware that his 401K or his IRA is heavily into them as well. His diversification is out of whack, and that helps to explain why so many people lost money when the tech bubble burst in 1999-2000.”

The company’s software is not as complicated as it sounds. It can help people track all their investments, and offers multiple portfolio management. For example, users can follow their personal taxable and nontaxable accounts, spousal accounts, children’s accounts and other account types. It is educational and can be used whether an investor works alone or with an adviser.

“It’s not in the cloud,” Willms said. “Our software is desktop based and secure on your own computer.”

What makes the company unique is that this is all affordable. There is a 90day free demo, with free support during the trial period. After that time, the full version can be purchased for $99. After a year, an optional renewal is offered from $69 to $99.

“We have customers worldwide,” Willms said. “We are registered investment advisers and that has made our software products viable and understandable.

“We learned some professional advisors were using it to track their multiple clients’ investments and that was a bit outside the purpose of our product, so we also developed a professional version,” Willms added.

Willms is content with his decision not to go into medicine.

“Time passes too fast,” he said. “I was able to coach my son’s youth football teams and my daughter’s soccer. I loved being available while they grew up. And I never would have developed the special, lasting relationships with some of our users I have now if not for this company. We have been helping some of our clients for 30-plus years.”

More information about what the software does can be found online by visiting www.investmentaccountmanager.com. QUANT IX SOFTWARE is located in Mequon. The company’s phone number is 262-241-3990. The site offers the free trial versions of its software.