Skip to Content
Advisor Insights

How to Overcome the Threat Posed by Automated Investment Advice

New tools and competitors are forcing advisors to more clearly define the value they provide to clients.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, multiple innovative technology companies have been challenging the investment advisory status quo with direct-to-consumer automated investment services, typically for a price much lower than traditional investment advisors. Not surprisingly, the initial growth of these companies and the assets they manage, combined with the launch of automated offerings from established firms like Vanguard, has fueled significant concern among advisors. And it wasn't too long ago that many industry pundits were hailing automated or robo-advisors as the future of investment management--and the end of traditional human financial advice as we know it. 

Yet the evolution of these automated services over the past five years--both in terms of the breadth of their varied fee and advice models, as well as their growth with regard to total assets managed-- indicates they've become less of a pure threat to traditional human investment advice. Instead, they represent the continued emergence of disruptive technology within the financial services industry that forces advisors to both adopt new technologies and clearly define the value they provide to clients above and beyond simple asset allocation.

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.