Virtual advisors are less expensive, but are they as helpful as a human advisor?
Automation is everywhere. An investor can, if he chooses, get assistance on all of his investment decisions without ever speaking to a human being thanks to the innovation of virtual advisors.
These so-called “robo-advisors’ are less expensive than a human advisor, and they don’t argue with you, or work on commission.
So why would an investor prefer to speak to a human advisor?
U.S. News and World Report shares the answer.
In a story titled “Why Financial Advisors Can be Worth the Fees”, U.S. News author David Ning answers the question of why humans can be beneficial as financial advisors.
In the Spectrem study Wealthy Investors and Their Perceptions of Virtual Advisors, only 6 percent of affluent investors say they have used a 100 percent automated, or virtual, advisor service. Another 3 percent say they use a service that offers a human to interact with but the interaction takes place only through video chat services such as Skype.
Of the remaining 91 percent, 59 percent say they like personalized services and automation does not feel personal. Thirty-six percent said they don’t trust virtual advisor services with their personal financial information, and 33 percent said virtual advisors cannot possibly understand their investment needs through a questionnaire.
(For more information on the Spectrem report Wealthy Investors and Their Perceptions of Virtual Advisors, click here).
The U.S. News story indicates other reasons why a human is preferable to a machine.
· An advisor will keep you from selling in a panic: One of the first laws of long-term growth in investing is to stay the course. Advisors can reassure squeamish investors that maintaining their investment position in a reputable company will serve them well in the long run. An automated advisor does not have a “don’t panic’’ link.
· A human advisor can suggest innovative investments: A human advisor is going to keep an eye out for new investment possibilities and know which investors are most likely to want to hear about them.
· A human advisor can listen: Investment decisions can sometimes be scary, or at least worrisome. Having someone to talk to about those decisions can be beneficial to the uncertain investor.
· A human advisor can keep marriages together: Sometimes, couples can disagree about investment decisions, and a virtual advisor is in no position to solve those conflicts. A human advisor can see both sides of an argument and determine a path of least conflict.
Ning notes that a human advisor can also advise descendants about an investor’s plans and investment reasoning should that become necessary.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.