I’ve worked with Optuma for almost three years now. Beforehand, I used a suite of technical analysis research products to assist in my portfolio management strategies and trading. Organizing this conglomeration of research products into something that was easily utilized and actionable was not easy – and I had a plethora of spreadsheets and chaotic, clunky data saved on my server.
Signing up for a trial was intimidating, I admit. These other pieces of software I was used to were certainly inefficient, but they were user friendly and most importantly, I was comfortable with them. However, once I started to go through paid training sessions with Mathew and Darren, combined with the enormous library of instructional videos, I was positively and overwhelmingly excited about all the undiscovered research capabilities that I previous was completely unaware of.
Having a subscription to Optuma is like having a young, incredibly intelligent, malleable human mind, combined with computer processing power at your fingertips. It’s as if when you login for the very first time, a computer genius welcomes you at the door and asks, “What would you like to do?” …and, at least for me, Optuma can do virtually anything.
You can perform a multitude of back tests, signal tests, and trade tests while comparing the results over any time period you’d like, relative to any benchmark you choose. You can create seemingly complex, yet simple and time-saving workbooks for the sake of streamlining your portfolio management, research, and trading processes.
If you’re interested in intermarket analysis, you can create macro workbooks for the sake of trend determination over multiple time frames. You can even create your own custom indicators and plot them on a chart so that you can see the results visually via arrows, vertical lines, or histograms. The possibilities are endless.
I am not a computer engineer, nor do I want to be, so this was one of the most intimidating challenges I faced initially when becoming an Optuma user. The program looks similar to music and production software, if you’re familiar with Pro Tools, Final Cut, or Garage Band. Upon login, you’re faced with a blank slate and much of the advanced features are built through coding.
While this deterred me at first from moving forward, the assistance of the Optuma team, including Darren Hawkins and Matthew Humphrey was not only instrumental – they made it easy to build out my entire, streamlined portfolio management process, including workbooks for macro analysis, intermarket analysis, trade scans, inventory watch lists, exit strategies on current positions complete with custom indictors, and multi-time-frame relative rotation graph workbooks.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve been on the phone with the Optuma team using a screen share feature they utilize as they assist in writing a code for me, fixing a mistake I’ve made, or assisting in a back-test or signal test. They are phenomenally hands-on when it comes to technical support.
Bottom line, Optuma simplified my process and dramatically increased my confidence as it pertains to portfolio management and the strategies I implement with my firm. Not even six months into my subscription, I don’t know what I would ever do without it – and for all the value and tools the software provides, I strongly believe it’s underpriced.
I recommend Optuma to all the PMs, RIA’s, and financial advisers I know, and my recommendation is always the same: Sign up for a trial, allot a good 10 hours/week to learning and understanding the basics on how it works, watch the videos, and spend some time on the phone with technical support.
Write out your strategy on paper if you haven’t done so already. If you’re like me, pay the extra cost for some consulting sessions to really dive into the weeds and accelerate the learning process. Then, spend the following 3-4 months building out your paper-napkin strategy within Optuma and experience your life getting easier as your portfolio management confidence grows over time. In time, assuming it’s a good fit for the role you play at your firm, you’ll never look back.