Bill Sharpe’s Financial Engines might be called the first robo-advisor. When he co-founded the firm in 1996, he had already won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Two years later, the firm launched what the firm calls the “first independent online advice platform,” which uses Monte-Carlo-based planning to help consumers plan for retirement.
Financial Engines has found a lucrative role in retirement planning, providing technology-enabled retirement help to more than 9 million employees at more than 600 companies, partnering with major retirement plan companies like Vanguard and Fidelity.
Then there’s the Sharpe ratio, which Sharpe first described in 1966 to measure risk and reward, and is still a popular measure of a fund’s volatility.
Though retired from Financial Engines, Sharpe still serves as Director Emeritus on the firm’s Board of Directors. He’s the STANCO 25 Professor of Finance Emeritus at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
He’s written several books, and is working on another book project on retirement income. In fact, he declined to be interviewed in order to focus on that project.