Given a choice, many investors see no difference between the performance of human advisors and robo-advisors.
The invasion of the robo-advisors has reached full steam, and investors have assimilated to the point that many believe robo-advisors can perform advisor tasks as well as human advisors can.
Spectrem’s latest wealth segmentation series study Advisor Relationships and Changing Advice Requirements shows that many investors believe robo-advisors can provide the same quality of advice a human advisor can, even in incidents when common sense might indicate a human advisor would be preferred. The percentages are not above 50 percent, but they are high.
The Spectrem research segments investors in three categories, one of them being Millionaires with a net worth between $1 million and $5 million not including their primary residence. Among those investors, 69 percent believe a personal advisor would be preferred to a robo-advisor in establishing a financial plan, which does seem to be a potentially complicated and detailed process.
However, 24 percent of Millionaire investors believe a robo-advisor could do that job just as well as a human, and 7 percent believe a robo-advisor could do a better job at that task. And that is the low end of the spectrum in terms of tasks an advisor is asked to accomplish.
Retirement planning is a big part of the financial advice market these days, and investors can spend hours considering their options regarding the investments they choose to provide retirement income down the line. But 30 percent of Millionaire investors believe a robo-advisor could provide that information just as well as a human advisor.
Also, 16 percent of Millionaire investors believe a robo-advisor would be preferable in that instance. Only 54 percent of Millionaire investors believe a human advisor would be better for selecting investments related to a retirement plan.
Spectrem research indicates that investors will change advisors if they do not believe the advisor correctly understands the investor’s level of risk tolerance. But 28 percent of Millionaire investors believe a robo-advisor could pick stocks to meet their own risk tolerance as well as a human advisor could, and 16 percent believe a robo-advisor could do that better than a human advisor.
Although wealthier investors - the Ultra High Net Worth investor with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million NIPR - are less likely to prefer robo-advisors over human advisors in the above stated examples, more UHNW investors believe robo-advisors are just as capable of fulfilling those tasks as human advisors.
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.