My Experience after 3 Years with Robot Wealth: Pros and Cons

I have been a member of Robot Wealth for three years now, which probably speaks for itself: I personally believe that I get a corresponding added value from the membership.

First off, I can say that Robot Wealth is, in my opinion, a recommendable service for ambitious hobby- or semi-professional investors who have an interest in quantitative strategies. Prior knowledge and interest in statistics, quant investing and of course financial products would be ideal.

Detailed review follows

A more detailed review will follow, but here I would like to briefly summarize my experience on the occasion of the upcoming bootcamp. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

Robot Wealth: Pros

  1. Content: Discussions and course content are of high quality. The underlying concepts are always sufficiently explained, but go clearly beyond most standard strategies and analyses that one could find for free.
  2. Competent community: Based on the introductions on Slack, the majority of members seem to be academics or have a professional background in finance.
  3. “Low noise”: With nearly 600 members on Slack (whether that is the number of member accounts still active, I can’t say), one might expect a flood of posts. But in fact, communication is rather scarce and focused. You can tell that most members don’t want to use Slack to pass the time. In general, the community is very polite, which I have experienced differently in some cases. Here, James and Kris do provide ideas and (rarely) concrete trades, but I have the impression that every member understands that you are responsible yourself for the implementation in the end.
  4. Slack as a source of information: through the community, one received timely info about the impending bankruptcy of FTX or the taxation of PTPs. This information could also be found in other ways, but I personally was made aware of important things there several times.
  5. A lot of material: All course material, also older material, remains permanently accessible, which is especially interesting for new members, as they can choose which topic they want to continue with after the bootcamp.
  6. Continuous updates: With regular webinars every one to two weeks, the content is continuously expanded and updated. So there is no shortage of intellectual stimulation.
  7. Collaborative tools: There is a “Lab” for collaborative projects based on Github and Google Colab for R in the cloud. Various historical data are available via an R package from Robot Wealth. In an edge database, ideas for possible strategies are collected, currently about 60, which can be analyzed in the Lab. Overall, my impression is that there could be more activity in the community strategies, but admittedly such analyses require a lot of work.
  8. Focus on R: This may be personal taste, but RW relies primarily on R for statistical analysis, backtesting, etc., and often delivers high-quality code there.

Robot Wealth: Cons

  1. Cost of the bootcamp: Where to put the fair price for such a course is in the eye of the beholder. Undoubtedly, though, it is an investment you should only make if you bring the necessary motivation to not only work through the material but also to manage your own portfolio in the end.
  2. Cost of renewals: Membership renewals cost almost as much as bootcamp (roughly speaking, as prices may change). That said, I have renewed my membership several times as the benefits listed above are worth it to me. Robot Wealth is the only such service I have remained a member of.
  3. More activity in the Lab would be nice: The Lab offers great potential for collaborative work. Currently, however, participation still seems limited, which is unfortunate when you see how much effort Robot Wealth has put into this.

Robot Wealth: Neutral

  1. Evidence-based approaches: Those interested in non-scientific trading approaches such as technical analysis are unlikely to find like-minded people there.
  2. Focus on advanced users: The content is implicitly aimed at a rather advanced audience. Beginner questions that Google could answer are rather out of place, even if the community is very friendly. In order to be able to follow the webinars and course content well, you should be familiar with basic terms such as “term structure”, “autocorrelation” or “percentile”, or you should be eager to learn.
  3. Information overload for newcomers: the initial phase can feel like “drinking from a fire hose”. Focus and gradual implementation are essential. It is also advisable to build your own database of important links and notes.
  4. No “get rich quick”: Neither would James and Kris promise that, nor is it the case – at least for me. Most of the strategies presented run decently, but the goal should be a long-term successful portfolio of different strategies rather than getting rich quickly.
  5. Focus on “the simplest thing that works”: Instead of hyped but difficult to implement models, such as Deep Learning, Robot Wealth generally relies on simpler, proven methods. The basic principle is to find niches where retail investors can succeed.
  6. Flexible course structures: Courses and topics follow a less fixed schedule than in the past. Instead, topics are more often inserted spontaneously, such as a course on data engineering, or in response to current events, e.g. with an “Armageddon” course on the occasion of the COVID-19 crash.
  7. DIY approach: Robot Wealth does offer a number of ready-made strategies, but sees itself more as an educational service, i.e. “help to DIY”. Not for people who expect to be called on to do specific trades.
  8. Commitment required: If you want to dive deeper, you will have to invest a high degree of initiative and work. For those interested, however, this is more of an incentive than an obstacle.


Robot Wealth is an educational service with an ever-growing knowledge base, coupled with a mature community that takes quantitative approaches to investing. While certainly the financial and time commitment should not be underestimated, in return you get a level of expertise and resources that is hard to find elsewhere. Especially for those who are willing to invest their own initiative and effort, membership can be worthwhile. Of particular interest to newcomers is the full access to previous content as well. But do not expect to simply copy-paste prefabricated strategies and be done.

Christian Thiele
Christian Thiele

M.A. International Economics

Christian started investing in stocks during the DotCom boom in the late 1990s. He mainly uses the statistical programming language R.

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