Across the ditch: Robo-Advice still needs human touch says Cigna Wealth

by NZ Adviser27 Nov 2015
Leading financial advisory and investment group Cigna Wealth has said Australian regulators need to examine whether computer generated financial advice can still maintain some form of human element to make sure clients receive the best service.

As the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) explores the possibilities of a robo-advice taskforce, it will investigate the suitability of potential new entrants to the sector who use computer algorithms to match investors with suitable assets at a lower cost than human advisers.

Cigna Wealth senior financial adviser Zoe Downs said as growth in robo-advice services grow, a balanced approach is needed to avoid potential damage to the financial planning sector and confusion amongst consumers.

“It’s great to see ASIC is examining issues regarding the emerging growth of computer generated financial advice,” Downs said.
“Any investigation into robo-advice should ultimately focus on the best interests of the client. It’s beneficial to leverage off technology to help reduce investment costs but regulators must ensure that advice is compliant and appropriate.”
Downs said as Australia’s $2 trillion in superannuation swells, it was more important than ever for consumers to be benefitting from the best financial advice.
“In our view there is no substitute for personal service when it comes to offering advice to Australians planning for retirement,” she said.
“It’s hard to replace having the ability to discuss your dreams and aspirations with an expert face to face and put together a personalized retirement plan that is specific to your needs.
“What the authorities need to do is make sure consumers still get the benefits of personal expertise as well as technological advances.”

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