Robo-Advisors have been on the scene for a couple years now and we are seeing the good the bad and the ugly about what they do. In an article written by Arielle O’Shea from www.nerdwallet.com, we can get some very good insights as to how a personal financial advisor can bring value to clients and prospects while not feeling threatened by this new tech.
Arielle broke down the top online advisors into six categories. The first thing this should tell you is that as a personal advisor you have the ability to cross those lines! Best Robo-Advisor for IRA management or the best one for 401k management or maybe the one for taxable accounts… Which one of these six Robo-Advisors should someone choose? The younger generation is lured to these because right now they don’t feel that they have a reason to have the personal touch if they ONLY have an IRA and can just push a button and get it done. Here is a quote by i5guy below the article “I pulled the trigger on Wealthfront .. My ultimate goal is ‘set it and forget it‘ – so why keep fearing the automation – just went ahead and did it!” I understand why this is so appealing to i5guy but he is missing out on the advantages of working with a human and might not know what those are.
A computer can break down data faster and more efficiently than a human can but lacks the ability to read clients body language and ask thorough follow up questions. What algorithm does it use to send a personal note of condolence for a death or congratulations on a pregnancy and how does it follow that up with adjustments to the clients plan if necessary? The personal touch is EVERYTHING.
The question you need to ask yourself RIGHT NOW is this, “What do I do that a “Robo-Advisor” doesn’t or can’t do. Make a list. Now, what sets you apart from other human advisors? Please don’t say “I care about my clients”, “I listen to my clients needs” or “I work harder than the other guy/gal in town for my clients”. What advisor doesn’t claim to do those?
Many of the folks I work with make investing more personal for their clients while successfully removing emotions from the equation. Does i5guy know what BRI or values based investing is? Maybe he has never heard of such a thing or maybe he has and does not care where his money is invested as long as it makes him money. Does he know that he can choose investments that can have a positive impact around the world? THIS IS NOT A COMMERCIAL– Many of my advisors that offer BRI to their clients use Inspire Investing to do so (www.inspireadvisor.com). Here is a quote from their website: “Inspire donates at least 50% of corporate profits to Christian ministry every year with our Give50 campaign. That means that every dollar you invest with Inspire is helping to inspire transformation for God’s glory throughout the world.” – If i5guy knew that his investments could help bring fresh water to people with no access or to help save people from slavery while performing as well as investments a Robo-Advisor might suggest, would he change his mind?
The bottom line is this: No computer program can replace your relationship or your ability to offer investment opportunities that fulfill soul needs as well as the financial needs of your prospects and clients. Hone your craft, set yourself apart and come out swinging.