via Wall Street Journal
Do investors need people anymore?
The past few years have seen the rise of robo advisers, a category that includes not only fully automated investment services and advice but also “hybrids” that pair computerized services with hand-holding from human advisers. The firms generally offer passive investments, as opposed to the active management that a human adviser can provide, but they charge much slimmer fees.
Robo advisers have been making aggressive moves lately, slashing the minimum balance required for an account; some have eliminated minimums entirely. Meanwhile, some big investment firms have begun offering hybrid services or are experimenting with fully automated offerings.
Some boosters argue that many investors don’t need human help at all—robo advisers can handle their portfolio needs and deliver better performance than advisers who may be unscrupulous or simply unable to beat the market.
Critics, though, say that digitized advisers may work as a complement to humans, but can never replace the expertise of a flesh-and-blood counselor.