BY JESSICA TINKLER, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER.
Have you seen the new commercials that talk about how ‘smart’ it is to have financial advisor? No? Well, the latest ads are all scenarios where real people played by real actors, like this guy, (didn’t I just see him in a Beer/Car/McDonalds commercial?), are addressing their financial advisors, played by actors like this guy (who came straight from the central casting “evil villain” category):
In the commercials, the characters discuss concerns the client has regarding their portfolio results, fees, future, and family.
On the surface, these commercials may seem to (and seek to) show financial advisors in a negative light. But what they truthfully convey is something that robo‐investing companies cannot offer – A human being who is an actual Financial Planner who you can meet face to face, share your goals with, discuss your tax situation, and work together with, to invest based on not only your financial needs, but who you are as a person.
Human to human interaction is something robo-investing would never offer – Rather funny considering they need humans to play the emotion in their commercials.
Contrary to the robo-investing firm’s intent here, I think these commercials make Financial Planners look extremely positive because it shows everyone what they do: They are always there to listen to their clients, first and foremost (villainous actor casting aside). A robo‐investor can’t listen, understand and assist the way another human with hopes and dreams can. The minutia of life’s ups and downs get missed in the robo-investing online application. What if you’re suddenly planning to put braces on your kid (x 3)? Trying to keep your OAS from the claw back? TFSA or RSP? Trying to structure your accounts tax efficiently? Passing on your wealth / or receiving wealth? You NEED a human being to listen and genuinely comprehend these important individual details.
Simply put, Robo‐investing could potentially push a confused or concerned client further into the darkness regarding understanding their investments.
Oh, and just so you’re made aware, robo-investing firms charge you high fees. So, in the end you get less service, but still pay fees. Funny how they didn’t mention that in their commercial. Probably because the company didn’t want to show themselves in a negative light.