US robos move to ‘hybrid’ automated advice models

The largest US robo-advice companies are introducing humans into their advice models or launching ‘hybrid’ automated models, says Adviser Intelligence.

Adviser Intelligence founder and chief executive Jacqui Henderson said in a blog that some of the biggest US robo advisers are now adding humans to their advice services.

“The US’s biggest robo-adviser, Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, already blends human advice with robo platforms, as well as the fifth biggest US robo, Personal Capital,” Ms Henderson said.

“Last month, the second largest robo in the US, Schwab, also combined its automated investment management technology with human advisers for its clients with at least $25,000 to invest.

“These moves by the biggest robos in the world are a sure admission that we are a long way off from a fully automated model becoming a reality.”

Ms Henderson said humans are needed to round out the financial advice process, and increasingly robo advisers are becoming ‘hybrids’ by introducing people to round out their financial planning service.

Further, she said that until algorithms can be developed to dynamically sequence and replicate human behaviour and decision-making in reponse to life events, true robo-advice “cannot exist”.

“Replicating the brain’s thinking or feelings is a very complex problem to solve,” she said.

“It is not like the replication of a motor skill or sensory function.”

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