Now, more than ever, we manage our lives online. Through our smartphones we shop online, we catch up on the news, videos, and music, we even use our phones for paying at bricks and mortar retailers. The millennial generation is showing the way. Not having known adult life without smartphones, managing their finances through an app, to them, is no big deal. As a result, many of them are turning away from the more traditional forms of financial advice and embracing low-cost, automated alternatives.
Robo advice works by using algorithms to recommend portfolios and strategies based on answers customers provide to a set of questions. UK based robo advisers have been shown to perform well in the past, as illustrated by https://www.telegraph.co.uk/investing/news/good-bad-ugly-new-breed-robo-advisers/ a 2018 Telegraph article. With 100% online, automated services being cheaper to deliver than a face-to-face consultation, a good portfolio selection for a lower fee is very attractive.
This may seem like worrying competition for the independent financial adviser. But it’s important to note that while opting for robo advice can lead to investing in a diverse portfolio for a fraction of the fees a human adviser might charge, there are some things an automated adviser can never do. For example, a human adviser can give customers the benefit of their experience in market behavior when the markets may have dropped sharply, which may mean the difference between taking a knee-jerk, bad decision and waiting out the storm. A human adviser can take into account additional financial needs, such as pension plans when recommending investments.
As millennials, and the generations that come after them age, their needs will become more complex, and they’ll need more than just an app to manage their finances. It’s here independent financial advisers can help by delivering a robo advice service that can bring customers on board with a view to establishing a more traditional customer relationship.
Financial adviser software providers such as Intelliflo can help with financial adviser software that provides the automated advice they want now, as well as supporting the traditional services financial advisers provide.
As Jay Shah, CEO of US digital wealth manager Personal Capital has pointed out, neither robo or human advice is sufficient on its own. Advisers who provide a seamless combination of the two will be the winners going forward.