Investopedia defines robo-advisers as digital platforms that provide automated, algorithm-driven financial planning services with little to no human supervision.
A typical robo-adviser collects information from clients about their financial situation and future goals through an online survey, then uses the data to offer advice and/or automatically invest client assets.
News flash: The robo-advice phenomenon as a retail business model has slowed drastically. The main reason is that today, clients with investment assets largely trust a person over a machine and require someone to provide empathy regarding their financial situation.
Automated investor web sites can only provide digital fingerprints of humanity. An adviser’s office, its community reputation and the warmth of sitting down and having someone be their wingman for their financial livelihood is what our culture demands.
In the next 10 to 20 years, as they accumulate wealth, millennials will have additional retirement assets and be more comfortable with automated advice. The jury is out as to whether tech-savvy millennial retirees will choose machine advice over a human.
An old adage – if you can’t beat them, join them – applies to the story of what has occurred during the past three years in the financial services industry regarding robo-advisers. The top investment firms are adopting the robo systems and integrating them with their existing advisers and digital platforms.
Make no mistake about it: The future of investing includes more advanced technology. The efficiencies inherent with this automation are obvious.
The real winner is the investor. How, you might ask? Well, investment professionals will have more time to be the advisers, planners and general point people for your financial well-being.
One tech expert’s perspective of the evolving technology changes is that within a few years, artificial intelligence (think: IBM’s Watson) will be communicating information to you pertaining to your account details.
The online investment brokerages that started in the 1990’s did not migrate business away from investment professionals. Rather, they enhanced the existing financial professional’s business systems.
Automation will continue to improve service, but it will be the investment professional that remains your trusted adviser.
Danny Wood is an independent financial adviser with Shoreline Financial Partners in Bradenton. To learn more visit shorelinefinancialpartners.com.