Robo-advice is not the death of the wealth manager

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Matt Phillips, managing director at Thomas Miller Investment, says that the rise of the robo-adviser is positive for consumers and advisers.

“Technology will only enable more human interaction not less. We see the wealth manager and robo-adviser working alongside each other.

“The death of the face-to-face adviser is exaggerated. Clients will fall in to broad categories such as those that simply do not wish to manage their financial affairs and will have a wealth manager to advice on all or most parts of their financial planning.

“On the other hand there will be others who will do most things online but will get to a point, possibly when they have accumulated enough funds or because their circumstances change, and they will want to talk to someone to ensure they are doing the right thing.

“Robo-advice in the years to come will be dominated by the big institutions such as insurance companies and banks.

“Over the next five years, ISA and Personal Pensions will be taken up cheaply online through a decision tree and via a provider or even a supermarket.

“However, the problem for consumers will be the amount of choice made readily available to them.

“The online robo-adviser is an advised product sale, if people feel they should be saving more they will for example take out an ISA. However, I struggle to see a decision tree dealing with complex issues for an individual who is retiring.

“The rise of the robo-adviser is a positive for consumers and advisers. It will mean more people will be engaged in savings and that will lead to more opportunities for advisers. It should be welcomed by all and not feared.”

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