Robo-advice, self-directed investing to ‘attack’ advice space

Australia has seen only the beginning of digital disruption, with advances in robo-advice and self-directed investing soon to "attack" the wealth management space, according to Claire Wivell Plater, managing director of The Fold Legal.

Ms Wivell Plater warned particularly about tools for self-directed investors, such as SelfWealth, which is a peer-to-peer investment platform that allows individuals to view and follow portfolios created by investment professionals.

"It enables individuals to compare themselves to their peers, professionals and the market, to rank their portfolio with a safety ranking and use that knowledge to improve their portfolio performance – all for $19.95 a month," she said.

"[This is] completely bypassing fund managers and financial planners."

Ms Wivell Plater added that this digital disruption is happening because of changes in consumer behaviour that are putting more pressure on traditional financial service providers.

"Tomorrow's consumer will be more demanding and less loyal to their financial institution, [they will be] characterised by a desire for immediacy, valuing simplicity and transparency and [will have] expectations of a more personalised service," she said.

As a result of this shift, a more collaborative model of innovation in financial services has emerged, bringing together government, technology start-ups and investors, she said.

"This is different to the traditional model, which typically sees financial institutions relying solely on IT vendors, as well as acquiring or funding start-ups to meet their innovation pipeline," she said.

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