Post-FAA Review - Will there be more advice?
United States: Transition from Commission to Fee-only

The "Robo vs Human" Construct is Wrong

I'm deeply frustrated by headlines about robo-advice at the moment. Any analysis which sets up the discussion as a binary either/or is just plain wrong. Looking at a channel choice as "Robo OR Human adviser" is simply wrong.

This reminds me of the trend in the 90s for "Internet Only" banks. Almost none of these exist today. Most successful banks offer multi-channel support for their customers. Most successful technology companies do too: I can buy Microsoft products online, in a store, and over the phone. I can get support for them that way too. I may never know when services like online chat to troubleshoot technical problems are provided by a human, or AI. 

But it isn't just big businesses that are changing. Small ones change too. Our family lawyers used to be incapable of dealing with us by email. Now they can. Most suppliers prefer payment using online banking, setting up appointments by text and email, and using apps to help with product selection. Which brings us back to advice. It is advice, in a way, just don't call it robo-advice okay. Advisers will be as likely to use IT to enhance their provision of advice and customer service offers as big business.

 

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