If you haven’t heard of the rise of the robo advisor, then you’ve been living under a rock. The automated, human-less financial planning service of robo advisors are single handily changing the personal finance sphere one click at a time. As a financial planner, of course I don’t believe in the service provided by robo advisors because I look at them as my competition and they represent the exact opposite of everything I stand for professionally.
Robo advisors don’t have 10 years of schooling, 4 degrees and 15 years of experience like I do. They don’t offer personal relationships and know the names of their client’s children and grand children like I do and I truly believe that personal finance should be created from personal relationships. Or should it?
As my bank implemented a robo advisor service I’ve come to learn that not everyone needs personalized service, contact from a real person and advice from a professional. Robo advisor aren’t the competition of financial planners, they’re a complimentary service. Robo advisors offer basic (and I do mean basic) money management services to people who may not need (or dare I say want) personalized advice from an expert. It lets the bank service a whole new generation of investors who may not qualify for the services of a professional financial planner.
Here are four reasons why a robo advisor may be good for you:
You have a busy life
Let’s face it, bank hours’ suck. If you don’t have a flexible schedule and can’t make it into the bank between 9 am and 5 pm then a robo advisor may be right for you. If you’re a beginner investor who prefers to access their accounts outside of normal business hours, a robo advisor can help with that. It’s an online platform (similar to your online banking) where you can log in at any time from the comfort of your own home – or anywhere in the world that has Wi-Fi.
You don’t need professional advice
Basic investing needs require basic investment advice. Although everyone can benefit from professional advice, not everyone needs (or wants) it. If the thought of sitting in an office for an hour while a trained, experienced professional explains your investment options makes you sick to your stomach, a robo advisor is good for you. If you prefer to see your accounts online and not in an office, then sign up for a robo advisor service such as Betterment or Wealth Simple – they’re my two favorite services.
You like to do it yourself
Some people prefer to manage their own money and some people prefer to buy an investment and leave it there until the end of time. If that sounds like you then you’re the perfect client for a robo advisor. There are a lot of people who prefer to keep investing simple and don’t want to watch the stock market everyday, check their accounts on a daily basis or look for the next big tip (this doesn’t exist by the way). If you prefer to research your own investment options and move money at your own free will without having to contact a financial planner to place the order then a robo advisor is just what you need.
You want to save on fees
If the thought of paying for professional service gives you a headache, then consider investing with a robo advisor. I am not sure why someone would expect to get a service without paying for it, but if you’re one of those people who don’t want to pay for banking fees then start investing with a robo advisor. Depending on the value of your assets and how often you trade a robo advisor can be with or without a fee. However even if there is a fee to invest with a robo advisor it will be less than the cost of professional, in person advice.
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