Rise of the Machines
Feared on first sight, robo-advisers win fans
Fear struck the wealth management industry when robo-advisers--automated, online financial planners--first came on the scene a few years ago. "It was like Godzilla," said Thomas J. Terhaar, an investment consultant with Conrad Siegel Investment Advisors Inc. in Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County. "It would gobble us up and we'd all be out of the business."
Flash forward, and a tool poised to take the investment world by storm still might, but not in the way it was once feared.
Wealth management advisers now see robo-advisers as a useful tool—to an extent—and some firms have embraced the technology by integrating it into their work. A robo-adviser is a web-based tool that relies on a computer algorithm to decide how to invest a client's money without any input from a financial manager.