- September 1, 2015: Vol. 2, Number 9

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Rise of the Robos: Robots moving from factory floor to fast food to handling trillions of dollars are on the frontlines of finance

by Benjamin Cole

Shoveling trillions of dollars about on Wall Street can be challenging work, requiring endless due diligence and lots of expensive human time and brainpower, if done the old-fashioned way.

Not only that, human beings are slow, requiring precious moments to ponder, while computers — or robots, if you prefer — think instantly, routinely and yet tirelessly, 24/7 while happily ensconced in a closet in Newark.

There is no escaping that money managed traditionally requires overhead of expensive professionals for customer service — the registered investment advisers (RIAs), or financial advisers — and the hand-holding of retail client-investors, who desire meetings and phone calls, and pleasant class-A office space.

The upshot: Managing money often eats too much money, and yet there is no indication that more-expensive oversight yields better results than dart-throwing, in terms of portfolio returns.

So a random walk to the inevitable is happening on Wal

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