Planners embracing robo-advice

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New research from Investment Trends shows a majority of financial advisers are optimistic about automated advice services.

The company’s inaugural Robo-advice Report found that 83 per cent of financial advisers see robo-advice either as being not a threat to their business, or a service which has a place within their practice.

“In the financial planning world, robo-advice is much more than just automated portfolio recommendation and rebalancing tools,” said Investment Trends research director Recep III Peker.

“Planners see robo-advice assisting across the entire advice delivery spectrum, from the front to the back office.”

More than half of the advisers surveyed by Investment Trends, 53 per cent, saw automated advice services as a tool to enable them to focus on providing strategic advice, with 43 per cent saying robo-advice would benefit their practice by allowing them to service more clients, and 41 per cent citing the lower cost of advice as being beneficial.

Commenting on the research, Stockspot chief executive Chris Brycki said that robo-advice “will become more popular than many traditional investment options like direct share investing and wrap platforms”, but that his experience also indicated optimism among advisers.

“Certainly our own anecdotal evidence supports that financial planners are also positive about robo-advice. The beta testing of our Stockspot Partners Programme has shown a real appetite from IFAs and accountants seeking a robo-advice investment solution for their clients,” he said.

Investment Trends’ research also found that 48 per cent of the Australian population has unmet advice needs, typically in relation to investment, tax and retirement decisions.

“The number of Australians receiving advice from financial planners has decreased substantially since the GFC, while the wealth of those receiving advice has risen in excess of 50 per cent, this has created a substantial advice gap, with many individuals underserviced,” said Mr Peker.

“The rise of robo-advice comes at a time when the desire for advice is high, and it can make a difference to people who may not necessarily be able to afford advice.”

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