Investors today are spoiled with choices when selecting financial advisors. There are so many different options available, including solutions driven by technology. The emergence of robo-advisors, powered by cutting-edge algorithms and AI, is altering the space historically dominated by human advisors. 

So which one is right for you? Do you hop on the AI train and get financial advice from a robo-advisor, or stick with old-fashioned human guidance? Here, we’ll explore each option and help you decide which option will best help you reach your financial goals.

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The Rise of Robo-Advisors

Robo-advisors are digital tools that provide automated financial planning services with minimal human oversight. They first entered the scene in the late 2000s as a response to the Great Recession, offering a low-cost alternative to traditional financial advisors.

Pioneers Betterment and Wealthfront aimed to democratize access to investment advice. They created algorithms designed on modern portfolio theory and other principles. These tools then offered tailored advice and continuously balanced portfolios based on changes in market conditions or the client’s situation.

Robo-advisors have come a long way in the past 15-odd years. They cater to all sorts of customer needs, from those just entering the investing world to sophisticated investors seeking efficient wealth management solutions.

Benefits of Using a Robo-Advisor

  • Cost Efficiency: With lower overheads, robo-advisors typically charge reduced management fees compared to human financial advisors. 
  • Accessibility: Unlike their human counterparts who need to sleep, eat, and rest, robo-advisors are available 24/7. For investors wanting to check their portfolios on a daily, consistent basis, this can be a huge plus.
  • Convenience: If you prefer digital interactions over face-to-face meetings, a robo-advisor may be right for you. There’s no need to worry about scheduling.

But robo-advisors are hardly a panacea in the world of financial advisors. They come with some major downsides that should be considered prior to jumping in.

Challenges With Robo-Advisors

  • Limited Personalization: Robo-advisors function based on premade algorithms, meaning there isn’t much room for customization.
  • Lack of Human Help: Navigating the complexities of wealth management and investing can be tricky, and it often pays (both figuratively and literally) to have a human expert at your side.
  • Security and Privacy Risks: As digital platforms, robo-advisors are susceptible to cybersecurity threats. Data breaches may expose sensitive personal information to nefarious parties. 

These tools are also prone to mistakes and misleading advice. In 2022, New York robo-advisor Wahed Invest, LLC was charged by the SEC with making false statements about its (nonexistent) proprietary funds. 

Human Financial Advisors: The Personal Touch

Human financial advisors have been around for centuries. What started as basic roles in banking and investment has evolved into sophisticated advisory services for a wide range of needs.

These advisors help clients manage their money effectively across various aspects such as investment management, retirement and estate planning, and tax strategies. They can tailor their advice to each person’s unique situation.

What Human Financial Advisors Bring to the Table

  • Personalized Guidance: Each financial journey is unique, and a human financial advisor can offer bespoke advice that a robo-advisor’s one-size-fits-all approach cannot. 
  • Relationship Building: Establishing a trusting relationship with your advisor can be pivotal, especially when facing significant, nuanced life challenges.
  • Detailed Financial Planning: If you’re like 72% of clients, retirement planning is a top concern for you and your primary driver for seeking financial guidance. A human advisor can offer intricate help with this type of planning. 

Of course, with deeper expertise comes higher fees. However, this additional cost can be worth it for those looking to create personalized financial plans. Remember, too, that most advisors offer ongoing support, making your investment more than worthwhile.

Which Should You Choose?

Deciding between a robo-advisor and a human expert can be a difficult choice. It mostly depends on your individual needs and preferences. Here are some tips to help you decide:

  1. Assess your financial goals and complexity. A robo-advisor may suffice for more straightforward needs.
  2. Consider your budget. If cost is a major concern, the efficiency of a robo-advisor is hard to beat.
  3. Reflect on the level of human interaction you desire. Having an actual person guide you through your finances can make all the difference in the world.
  4. Think about long-term relationships. While robo-financial advisors may offer quick, easy help, they can’t foster the same kind of relationship and understanding that a human can.

If you want to combine the best of both worlds, you might consider a hybrid approach. 

Looking for Human Financial Advisors? We’ve Got You Covered

Robo-advisors have changed the world of finance forever. Though their ease of use is unparalleled, they often fall short of providing the kind of tailored planning that clients today are seeking.

At Alpha Wealth Funds, we work closely with each client to develop a plan that suits their needs and budget. Our financial planning services follow a six-step process for success:

  1. Establishing a relationship with each client
  2. Gathering relevant client data
  3. Looking at their current financial situation
  4. Giving recommendations and/or alternatives
  5. Implementing the recommendations
  6. Monitoring the changes made

Ready to learn more about what our expert advisors can do for you? Schedule a free introductory consultation. 

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Founded in 2010, our services include boutique hedge funds, separately managed accounts, financial planning, estate & trust services, private placements, life insurance and annuities, and in-house concierge services for high-net-worth individuals, families, and businesses. To find out more about our services or reach a registered investment advisor, please fill out the Contact form.


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