Much has been reported recently about the rise in availability of automated digital programs to deliver simplistic financial advice to the public. National Australia Bank customers will be among the first in the country to have access to the robo-advisers later this month.
These computers can provide general advice, answering basic questions such as. "How much super do I need to retire?" but they don't take into account a client's wider circumstances, nor are they yet capable of doing complete comparisons of market products. It's only a matter of time, according to some experts, who believe that this prediction software could become sophisticated enough to provide financial advice for up to 3-year periods, and stay compliant with the ever changing industry laws.
So who'll be using them?
Not anyone who needs human interaction when discussing something as important as financial well being.
Not someone who needs time and empathy and highly experienced knowledge of the multitude of products currently on the market.
Not the person who needs quality information and advice about building wealth.
Not those individuals who have thousands of questions about self managed super funds.
Not those with a SMSF who don't know how to oversee it.
Not the young family who need cash flow modelling.
Not those who find themselves in transition to retirement and need to know all their options in detail.
Not the one in three people each year whose lives are suddenly turned around by unexpected financial hardship, illness or death of a family member.
Not the family who needs to turn to a human being in times of trouble and be told, "This is what we've planned for. You're going to be covered and I'll follow it up from here."
Probably not any of the experts currently telling us how much robo-advisers will be able to do.
And it may end up being considerable, but it will never be considerate, or creative, or spontaneous. Robo-adviser may well be able to plot some of your dots, but he'll never join them and turn them into spiders.
For the human touch, make an appointment with Ciaran Davis at MCFP Sutherland.