The Accidental Financier
After completing his studies in Biology, Cordell's initial vision of a future in genetic research or medicine took an unexpected turn. Drawn to the world of finance, he embarked on a self-taught odyssey, starting with the CFA courses back in 2000. With no prior experience in finance, his tenacity and dedication saw him climb the industry's ladder, having had several roles along the way.
From being a quant analyst and portfolio manager at Standard Life Investments to managing a Canadian multi-asset mutual fund product with assets worth $2 billion, Cordell's evolution in the industry has been nothing short of remarkable.
One of his significant roles at Standard Life was in portfolio optimization and manager selection. This involved interviewing potential portfolio managers for the fund products. With nearly a decade at Standard Life under his belt, he also acquired experience as a registered investment advisor and a portfolio construction consultant.
The Drive to Learn
What stands out about Cordell is his intrinsic drive for knowledge. While many may settle into their roles and responsibilities, Cordell has a natural curiosity that moves him forward. This relentless pursuit of knowledge led him to teach himself Python coding and delve deep into the world of AI and machine learning.
Didier: What motivates you at the end of the day?"
"Cordell: Well, I would say the primary motivating force that I have in my life is I can't stand it when I see something that I don't know how to do."
Embracing change: Data Science and AI in Finance
Throughout his career, Cordell has witnessed firsthand the shifts in the finance industry.
Particularly, he has observed how the CFA program has evolved over the years. While some traditionalists resist the integration of Python, data science, and AI into the curriculum, Cordell firmly believes in evolving with the times. He perceives these additions not as mere "fads" but as essential tools for the modern financial analyst.
Discovering OpenBB and our Platform
Cordell's commitment to staying updated with the latest tools and technologies in the financial world led him to OpenBB. First introduced to it about a year ago through a LinkedIn post, he initially explored the terminal for company financials.
Over time, as he familiarized himself more with its capabilities, he began integrating it more seamlessly into his workflow.
When Cordell first came across OpenBB, we were just emerging from stealth mode. With our core offering being the OpenBB Terminal, it was this product that first caught Cordell's attention. He found value in monitoring company financials and quickly getting insights into market movers and specific company financials.
It was only in the subsequent months that Cordell began to understand the true potential of our Software Development Kit (SDK).
Instead of juggling multiple data providers and writing individual functions for each, he found the OpenBB Platform (former SDK) to be a game-changer. It became a single point of access for all his data needs, streamlining his processes and allowing him to centralize all macro functions through our platform.
The Platform was no longer just a tool for him; it became integral to his workflow, driving efficiency in his research and his business, Trend Prophets.
With the power of the OpenBB Platform, he found himself equipped to replicate features from renowned platforms like Morningstar Direct or Bloomberg.
This is what it looks like:
It's one thing that I've always had on my to-do list: ”I need to build my own investment management platform, I need to replicate Morningstar Direct or Bloomberg. I need to do something so that I don't have to repeat myself over and over again”. But it always just stays on the to-do list because you know how much work is involved, because that's a major undertaking time I just don't have, I need it for everything else that I need to do.
But now that I have the OpenBB SDK, it's given me that little bit of the impetus, the push to get it done now because now that I have all these tools available to me and it just got me going. It got me at least the momentum that I needed to start building what I'm about to share with you.
And at the same time, I don't have to create it all in one day. My plan is to gradually add things onto something like this over time. And the OpenBB is pretty much the heart of it in terms of how I'm gonna do the data gathering, the data aggregation.
The OpenBB Terminal still holds a special place in Cordell's toolkit. He uses it regularly to monitor quality stocks and get quick insights into financial statements and ratios.
However, the Platform stands out as the backbone of his operation. It offers him control, flexibility, and repeatability, all crucial aspects for someone looking to drive research and insights efficiently.
During the interview, Cordell even gave a quick demo of how he leverages the OpenBB Platform on his workflow. Watch the full video here:
The birth of Trend Prophets
Cordell's latest venture is Trend Prophets, the company he just started that offers subscribers access to long-term investment strategies. Built on quantitative techniques and AI, it aims to identify underlying market trends.
While currently in its final stages of testing, Trend Prophets is gearing up for its launch. They’re working on ensuring a user-friendly experience, complete with explanatory videos, blog posts, and more. Designed for anyone, from individual DIY investors to financial advisors, the platform’s versatility stands out.
When asked about the direction for Trend Prophets, the emphasis was clear: it’s about building a community. Beyond just providing buy and sell signals, they aim to establish a hub of learning and interaction. From blogs to webinars, users will gain access to years of market experience, all intended to make them more informed and confident investors.
Trend Prophets focuses on long-term trends, using AI-powered algorithms to sift through short-term market noise. The ultimate aim? To ensure that its users make money by following the long-term trend signals provided by the platform.
They have plans to further expand the platform’s capabilities, like a research section that will allow users to evaluate the performance of indices like the S&P 500 during specific time periods.
One of the main focuses in development is the implementation of rolling returns, giving a more holistic view of performance rather than just snapshots in time.
The official launch is set to happen in the coming months, so stay tuned for exciting news soon!
Cordell's journey with OpenBB reflects the evolution of our platform and the value it brings to professionals across industries.
As we continue to innovate and expand our offerings, we are excited to see more champions like Cordell make the most of what OpenBB has to offer.
Get started with the OpenBB Terminal or the OpenBB Platform (former SDK) today for free here.