Publications

- July 1, 2016; Vol. 3, Number 7

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High-Touch vs. High-Tech: Financial advisers in the digital age are being challenged like never before

by John Harrison

Now is a great time to ask, What is the future of financial planning in the face of digitally assisted advice?

A copious amount of data shows that financial advisers add value to the investing process. But the significant question is not whether financial advice helps, but whether advice from a human financial adviser is of greater value compared with advice provided by an impersonal algorithm interfaced only digitally.

A brief on the subject prepared by ADISA for the federal Office of Management and Budget flatly stated: “Moving future investors toward lower cost commoditized digital advice surely increases herd behavior and amplifies catastrophic market risk.”

One has only to look at the programmed stock selling phenomenon to appreciate the exposure of such risk.

BREAKING DOWN THE ADVISER’S ROLE

First, it needs to be determined what financial advisers really offer, and it is clear that it is

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