PAUL, Minn. ó Appo Agbamu recently quit a
$75,000-a-year job at U.S. Trust, a dream job for a
young associate portfolio manager.
Agbamu, 25, has an entrepreneurial dream. Heís founder
of ahrvo.com, an investment app targeted at young people
that went live at the Google and Apple online stores in
passionate about this," said the St. Paul son of
immigrants from Nigeria. "Iíve bootstrapped this
venture out of savings from my paycheck."
whose father introduced him to investing in high school,
prepared for an investment career at the University of
studied accounting, economics and finance, was a student
director of the $1.6 million Bulldog Fund, interned at
an investment company and competed on the Bulldogs track
team. He has earned accreditation as a certified
financial analyst, or CFA.
developed Ahrvo on nights and weekends for a couple of
years, investing about $25,000 in savings from his day
uses artificial intelligence
asserts that Ahrvo is the first mobile app for investors
that uses multifactor ranking systems and artificial
intelligence to process market and company financial
information to provide users with easily understandable
stock scores and a "neural network-aided smart
became interested in the concept while interning at a
small investment shop in Duluth that used a program to
find undervalued, good-quality investments.
studied the classic work of the late Benjamin Graham and
his modern portfolio theory, and Peter Lynch, the
legendary Fidelity Investments portfolio manager.
has put his own millennial twist on things to deliver
portfolio theory in a software application. He believes
the 18-to-34 crowd, more comfortable with an iPhone than
a textbook or even a spreadsheet, will use Ahrvo.
inspiration was to create it to empower people of my
generation who didnít have the knowledge or know where
to start," Agbamu said. "Now, they can figure
out an Ahrvo score."
Ahrvo score incorporates and quantifies the analysis of
four factors: quality, value, growth and momentum behind
a company," Agbamu said. "Itís basically a
way of sourcing investment ideas and to help users make
profitable investments at the right time.
donít make money on trades, although people can trade
on the platform. Itís more of an educational tool. Itís
something university investment clubs might be
interested in. This is something I wish I had when I was
Buffett and other sages say most low-risk types are
prudent to invest in a diversified investment portfolio,
such as a stock index fund, as well as cash savings,
over the long term with systematic contributions as the
safest way to get rich slowly over 25 to 40 years.
believes his app packs tremendous analytics into a tool
that will appeal to younger investors. Itís something
that also could be used by amateur and professional
funds and ETFs have beaten active portfolio managers
since 2009 amid the eight-year market rise. The stock
market, with the exception of the energy and commodities
industries, has nearly tripled in value since the Great
Recession of 2008-2009.
best portfolio wins?
analysts believe the easy money is over from so-called
index investing, and going forward the best returns will
go to the best portfolios.
think weíre heading into a time where itís about
what you own," Agbamu said, "not just owning a
group of stocks because itís part of a
Artim, director of the financial markets program at UMD,
recalls Agbamu as a good guy, a hardworking, determined
and competitive student who led the UMD team to the
national finals of the CFA Institute stock research
do not know much about his new venture but can be
assured that he has thought it through very well and
will pursue it with all his energy," Artim said.
"He is very smart, so Iím sure he has done his
homework and understands the risks he is taking. Heís
young, so he can afford to take some risks in life at
is raising $100,000-plus from individual investors to
take Ahrvo to the next level over the coming 18 months.
He plans to pay himself about $25,000.
has permitted mostly free downloads of the basic app to
get it into as many hands as possible and learn from the
feedback. In addition to 1,000 free users so far, he
eventually plans to sell subscriptions for advanced
dad, who has taught adult education and worked in
financial services, is an investment buff. His mother, a
St. Paul-area school principal, is proud, while at the
same time concerned over her son quitting a very good
a little worried," Agbamu conceded. "But both
my parents appreciate my vision and drive."