A growing number of businesses are starting to focus on robo-advisers, who provide a simple process to typically match personal goals to a low cost portfolio. Whether you think they are good or bad, there’s probably little protection from their impact. In fact, wherever you sit in the financial service supply chain, a robo will probably be “visiting” you, your clients and prospects soon.

In this article we will be exploring the impact of robos on the advice industry. While there are a number of advisory firms and advisers who feel confident that their clients, centres of referral and other networks will hold firm against the impending, well-funded marketing of robos, others are building their defences.

Many advisory businesses understand that they must move their client engagement to higher levels of discovery and personalisation than that of robos. Traditional businesses realise they need to add other services that clients value, for which they will be prepared to pay. They also appreciate that their investment services must become visibly more personalised to take into account their clients’ individual needs and circumstances.

Some advisers have reacted by adding their own low-cost robo service options. These investment adjuncts to their main offerings are targeted at smaller clients who have less demanding investment needs. Of course some argue that this is akin to inviting the “fox into the hen house”.

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