Aussies Turning To Automated Financial Advice

George Stacey is a cotton farmer who works on his 97,000 hectare farm in Goondiwindi, 30km southwest of Brisbane, away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan city life. He says he has a passion for investing in companies across the world, which he prefers to do from the comfort of his couch in remote Western Queensland.

He says he’s following his father’s footsteps when it comes to investing, and has described himself as a child who took interest in financial news and share portfolios. Naturally, when he began to see a decent income from farming, his father advised him to make his money work for him and investing.

It was then that he turned decided to seek financial help online, not from a financial advisor, but from a program; Six Park.

More and more Aussies are turning to robo-advice, financial advice delivered via gadgets like computers, tablets or smartphones, which utilize algorithms and technology instead of a personalised financial adviser, to provide financial advice to customers. This new development in the field of finance planning uses data such as age, gender, income and financial goals to give investors personalised or general advice on investments, as well as weighing on the risks.

Ted Richards, Six Park’s Director of Business Development, says that the costs associated with robo-investing was low, compared to normal investment. Six Park, for example, charges 0.5% per annum on any account balance between $10,000 and $199,999.

Richards says that robo-investmentallows for greater diversification; spreading out over multiple assets, and is good for people who are either nervous, don’t really have the experience, or would rather not go through the usual hassle associated with financial help online and just set and forget.

With the recent issues plaguing the financial sector, like the Royal Commission inquiry, some Aussies have become sceptical of financial advisers, not to mention the traditionally high costs that can sometimes be associated with them.

Tribeca Financial’s CEO, Ryan Watson, says that robo-advice was a cost effective way for people to get simple financial advice with no frills attached, while allowing for those who simply don’t want face-to-face advice to get some insight into potential financial decisions.