What Clients Want: The Rise of the Cyborg Advisor

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What Clients Want: The Rise of the Cyborg Advisor

It is true. Clients want automation.

The robo-advisor market is expected to reach from $2.2 trillion to $3.7 trillion in assets under management by next year and $16 trillion by 2025. Let those staggering numbers sink in for a minute.

While these numbers are huge, clients also want a personal touch.

Research from the Financial Planning Association and Investopedia concluded that clients want an automated investing platform coupled with personal advice.

Enter the Cyborg Advisor: part robo, part human. This hybrid model pairs the ease of the algorithm platform with the element of human interaction.

According to Accenture research, 68% of emerging wealthy and high-net-worth investors prefer a hybrid robo model, aka the Cyborg Advisor.

Be sure to visit the Practice Management section to learn about more ways of growing your advisory practice.

Embracing Technology

It is no secret that embracing technology is vital to the success of your advisory business. Most advisors who have outperformed the rest have been tech-savvy and leveraged tools, applications, and software to maintain their profitability.

At a minimum, financial advisors should be upgrading their technology to enhance their client service experience and streamline their operations. For example, consider implementing tools like scheduling and messaging apps that are mobile-friendly to make it easier to meet with your clients and access you for questions.

In addition, financial advisors should understand where robo-advice can both complement and enhance their current client and prospect relationships. Ignoring this trend is dangerous and could potentially crush your business. Don’t be short-sighted by viewing technology as the competition.

If you haven’t already done so, prioritize getting on board with an online advisor platform. Be sure to do your research on the best robo to team up with to provide digital advice. They are not all the same.

Once you adopt one and embrace becoming a Cyborg Advisor, be sure to keep your tried and true skill set at the forefront of your client relationships. Why? Because no matter what anyone says, there is simply no substitute for human touch, face-to-face meetings, and deep emotional connections with your client relationships.

Emotional Connections Are Key

While robos can mathematically analyze a client’s situation to come up with portfolio recommendations and low-cost products, they cannot reassure clients during difficult markets. They also can’t calm clients’ fears and worries. They can’t take panicked phone calls. They can’t listen to their clients’ life stories, coach them to take action, handhold them, and offer personalized solutions based on their financial dreams and aspirations.

In other words, robos cannot handle client emotional or behavioral issues.
Emotional connections are truly the key with your clients and it is extremely important to nurture these important elements of your relationships. Remember to discuss your clients’ philanthropic desires, core values, and the legacy they want to leave to the next generation.

Robo-advisors also can’t address key financial issues, such as analyzing estate and retirement planning, as well as cash flow management. These issues are the focus of true comprehensive financial planning, which a robo cannot do.

Personal Relationships Trump Pure Automation

While some may argue this, the good news is that personal relationships with financial advisors still trump pure automation. And here’s the proof.

According to Wells Fargo, 84% of recently surveyed investors say that human financial advisors will always be needed and will not be replaced by automated investing technology.

Furthermore, according to Accenture close to 57% of investors feel that human advisors provide the best-customized advice.

The Future of Robos

What lies ahead for robo-advisors? While robos are now more than 10 years old, with $16 trillion estimated in assets under management by 2025, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

However, some experts warn that there may be a proverbial bubble that could burst when it comes to the robo-advisor field. Some experts believe that robo-advisor platforms might eventually hit a ceiling and drive clients back to the purely human, traditional financial advisor.

Some experts also believe that robo-advisors might not withstand a bear market. They haven’t experienced one yet, so this remains unknown.

However, it is interesting to note that research indicates that 40% of investors are uncomfortable using robo-advisors during periods of extreme market volatility. This may be telling.

The Bottom Line

We can’t predict the future of robo-platforms, but there is no denying that robo-advisors are on the rise. However, investors’ need and desire for human interaction has not diminished.

Robo-advisors are not replacing your role as a financial advisor anytime soon. Yet if you want to safeguard your business, becoming a Cyborg Advisor and adopting an automated advisor platform is necessary to thrive in today’s marketplace.

Providing a nice hybrid of high-touch humanity and digital automation is the optimal solution for your advisory business and it is what clients want.

Don’t forget to visit the News section to stay up to date with the latest news from the mutual fund investing world.

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