Adviser Ratings has created a review register of robo-advisers that it hopes will help complement the traditional advice offering in improving accessibility and affordability.
Adviser Ratings wealth chief executive Mark Hoven said the fact that only 14 per cent of Australians receive advice despite the large majority needing assistance with their finances demonstrates a huge unmet opportunity.
“There’s no question that the traditional financial advice industry today has an image problem, compounded by the findings from the royal commission,” Mr Hoven said.
“We believe the digital financial planning world can start to bridge this gap and have launched a review register of 36 robo-advisers to provide consumers more transparency about this emerging world of finance solutions.”
While Mr Hoven acknowledges that robo-advisers have often been presented as a disruptor to the traditional advice industry, he said a hybrid model of interdependency is a more realistic scenario.
“Digital advice solutions present benefits for traditional financial advisers if sympathetically incorporated into their business design,” he said.
“They can improve cost of new customer acquisition, reach new types of customers, broaden service offerings, transition certain service components online, bring advisers closer to the customer, and lower the overall operating cost of the business.”
Further, Mr Hoven believed that while the advice industry has purposely focused on more affluent customers, equally there are a raft of reasons why consumers have avoided the industry, including concerns about trust, affordability, fears of being judged or embarrassed, and a lack of solutions offered for simple advice needs.
“Because these digital tools are breaking down holistic advice into its component parts and delivered through the streamlined anonymity of an online world, they are helping to overcome previous advice roadblocks and providing accessibility to professional financial help for more Australians,” Mr Hoven said.