Kiwis keen on mix of roboadvice and real people

by NZ Adviser14 Nov 2016
Kiwis like the idea of roboadvice as long as a real life adviser is still in the picture, a new survey commissioned by Kiwi Wealth shows.

The survey, ‘Rise of the Money Robots: Kiwis’ attitudes to robo-advice’, explored what Kiwis’ think about roboadvice and explored whether they would consider using it to manage their financial futures. 

Roboadvice has gained popularity in other parts of the world but is still a relatively new concept in New Zealand, with the Perceptive Research survey of 1001 people revealing only 8% of respondents had heard of roboadvice for financial planning.

Key findings of the report included: 
-    Less than 20% of Kiwis have a financial adviser.
-    20% said they hadn’t checked their retirement finances in the past year.
-    Young Kiwis see roboadvice as an opportunity to get advice on setting financial goals; older Kiwis see roboadvice as a way of helping them to realise those goals.
-    One in five would consider using a roboadviser to manage their retirement planning.
-    Almost half would prefer a human financial adviser over a roboadviser for professional opinions and views, or when there were changes in financial or personal circumstances.

Kiwi Wealth head of retail wealth and marketing, Joe Bishop said, “The survey findings clearly show that Kiwis see roboadvice as complementary to human financial advisers, rather than as a total replacement of experts.

“That reflects how new roboadvice is as a concept, and the lack of a proven track record for the technology here. However, that’s changing, and we expect things to only accelerate.” 

The Government revealed its intention in July to allow roboadvice as part of its review of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA).

“That’s a very important step,” said Bishop. “The technology coming online now has advanced well beyond what was around when the FAA became law in 2010. If we’re to bridge the advice gap and get people involved in planning for retirement, particularly with KiwiSaver, roboadvice will be vital.

“There are 2.6 million of us enrolled in KiwiSaver but only around 1800 authorised financial advisers available to provide personalised advice,” said Bishop.

“The human element will remain important in the advice mix, but roboadvice has the potential to democratise access to financial advice for all New Zealanders, particularly as KiwiSaver accounts grow and other investments play a role.

“The long-term well-being of the country requires us to manage our retirement investments well. New technology will make it easier for Kiwis to get the financial advice they need.”

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