• subs-bellGet the latest news! Subscribe to the ifa bulletin

YBR to 'disrupt' advice with robo model

Yellow Brick Road will launch a new low-cost advice model enabled by robo-advice technology in a bid to attract the “80 per cent of Australians” currently unadvised.

YBR executive chairman Mark Bouris said that having “made a career out of building disruptive businesses”, he will now turn his attention to “flipping the financial planning industry inside out”, with a new robo-enabled advice proposition aimed at younger and lower-income Australians.

Under the new model, YBR clients will undergo a “discovery session” with ‘Guru’ – a piece of technology that “calculates the user’s likelihood of achieving their financial dreams based on their situation today” – which results in a ‘roadmap’ report, providing prospective clients with an overview of their financial situation free of charge.

To complement the free Guru offer, YBR has also launched a low-fee advice model that will see Guru users have access to a YBR ‘money coach’ at a cost of $900 in their initial year and $600 for each additional year, reflecting what Mr Bouris called a “killer price point”.

Speaking to ifa, YBR head of wealth management Grant Pearson said the new model is “product agnostic” and acknowledges that the key to bringing advice to more Australians is “partnering smart technology with smart people”.

Mr Pearson said that initially, YBR’s ‘money coaches’ will come from the firm's ranks of registered financial advisers but that in the longer term there may be scope to involve scaled advice practitioners who may not be “traditional financial planners”.

“Will this disrupt financial planning? Absolutely,” Mr Pearson said.

“We are after the 80 per cent of Australians that at the moment the industry is not doing a great job at serving – the ones who are priced out and valued out.”

The ASX-listed wealth manager has been trialling the Guru technology over the past 18 months, with more than 500 clients currently taking part in the new model advice program.