Computers are a prominent way of life and are becoming faster and smarter by the minute.  They are in our everyday appliances, phones, cars, factories, and they even perform life-saving surgeries.  Some people even use a robo adviser to manage their investment portfolio.  A robo adviser is defined as an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use of human financial planners.  This type of investing makes sense to a portion of the population; however, it could lead to their financial downfall.

Here’s how a human adviser can put the personal touch on your finances:

Taking the emotion out of investment decisions. Humans are notorious for making poor financial decisions.  More often than not, investors find themselves buying high and selling low.  Another voice besides your own during tough markets can be invaluable.  A good adviser should be able to discuss your fears, calm your worries, and help you to avoid making impulse decisions based on short-term market moves or negative reports from the media.

Capable of handling your own finances, but you never get around to it. There is no question that most individuals are intellectually capable of handling their financial planning and investment needs. In some cases, they are too busy with their careers and families to focus sufficient attention on their finances. In other cases, they like the idea of someone having an independent view of their situation.  For others, financial planning is just not something they enjoy doing.  Remember that time is the most valuable asset you have when it comes to reaching your goals.  The best way to get something done is to begin.

Dealing with life’s everyday situations.  Life is a roller coaster with endless ups and downs.  Nobody knows when the next pot of gold or lemon is going to present itself.  Marriage, divorce, children, an aging parent, inheritance, or death are just a few of the events that come our way throughout life.  It is good to have a trusted adviser in your corner to help you get answers and help keep your stress level to a minimum.

Putting together a financial plan.  Normally, the fastest way to get from point A to point B is a straight line.  Anyone can drive from Pittsburgh to Florida by hopping in the car and driving south.  They’ll eventually get there; although, having a map (GPS to millennials) and a plan will save both time and money.  The same can be said for a financial plan.  Everyone should have a plan on how to reach their financial goals such as retirement, education or wealth transfer in the most tax-efficient and cost-effective way possible.

For peace of mind.  Money is a complicated subject, and there are many things you need to think about to both protect it and make the most of it.  Markets are volatile and the media is prone to exaggeration of both the risks and the rewards.  Employing a financial adviser can take the emphasis away from you and move it into the hands of an expert.  Let your money work as hard for you as you did for it.

Can some people achieve investment success on their own with a robo adviser?  Yes, but the key word is some.  Most individuals lack the time needed to do it on their own.  They miss money slipping through the cracks or delay the start of their financial journey.  They seek advice and guidance regarding taxes, estate planning, college funding and retirement.  For these investors, the robo adviser they choose could be the Terminator.

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Author: Chris P. Wieder, CFP®, Allegheny Financial Group, August 2016


Allegheny Financial Group is a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Allegheny Investments, LTD, a registered broker/dealer. Member FINRA/SIPC. The above comments are provided for discussion purposes only and are not meant to be an offer of any specific investment or tax advice.