Financial advisors do not view robo-advisors as competition



A new study featuring financial advisors in the US shows that they do not consider robo-advisors a serious threat, and most do not expect to make changes to their business to address them. Only a few have reduced fees or improved services to better compete.

Grassroots® Research interviews with financial advisors in the US revealed that slightly less than two-thirds were somewhat familiar with robo-advisers, while slightly less than one-fourth were very familiar, and a few were not familiar. However, almost all sources said their clients are not interested in using robo-advisors/automated investment services for some or all investments, while a few said clients are somewhat interested.

Indeed, most sources have not noticed any impact from robo-advisors on their business, while a few have not personally noticed an impact but expect to in the future, and a few already have noticed an impact in various ways. Looking ahead, most do not expect they will make changes to deal with robo-advisors, because they do not view them as competition, while a few have made various changes, including fee reduction, unbundling of services and better explanations of their fee structure to clients.

Meanwhile, most sources have not had direct experience using robo-advisors for themselves or their clients, while a few have. In addition, almost all said they have not had clients use robo-advisors and then switch back, while a few have. Most sources have not noticed any reduced willingness among clients to pay for a personal financial advisor due to the increasing availability of free online information for personal investing, while a few have or expect to in the future.

Grassroots® Research is a division of Allianz Global Investors that commissions investigative market research for asset-management professionals. Research data used to generate Grassroots® Research reports are received from independent, third-party contractors who supply research that, subject to applicable laws and regulations, may be paid for by commissions generated by trades executed on behalf of clients.

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