Many surveys of the attitudes of financial advisors addressing the topic of robo-advisors find advisors not seeing them as meaningful competitors today or in the future. While the matter of the investment proficiency of robo-advisors is sometimes seen as lacking, the bigger issue is usually that robo-advisors lack the human touch. These financial advisors see the ability to interact with investors as the reason robo-advisors will alwayshave only a small slice of the investor market.
The fate of Robo-advisors remains in question, but their impact on the financial services industry is here to stay.
Zeroing in on what Robo-advisors are doing well will help you pick out strategies to incorporate into your own firm, and what they have going for them is technology and affordability. As a result, Robo-advisors are attracting two specific types of investors.
Andrew Osterland, special to CNBC.com
Thursday, 16 Jun 2016 | 9:00 AM ET
Over the next several decades, the biggest and wealthiest generation in U.S. history will transfer roughly $30 trillion in assets to their Gen X and millennial children, and if studies are accurate, most of those children will promptly fire their parents’ advisors.
“Studies regularly show that when wealth passes to another generation, in the majority of cases, the heirs change financial advisors," said Gauthier Vincent, head of Deloitte’s U.S. Wealth Management practice. “The relationship between assets, asset owners and financial advisors is unraveling before our eyes."
“There’s a perception in the industry that to be successful, you can only work with people who have at least $1 million in assets. But if you don’t work with the next generation, someone else will.“
Joe Duran, CEO of United Capital, sat with start-up executives at a New York conference Friday and acknowledged wealth managers’ upper hand is starting to lose its grip as digital disruptors take hold. The next generation of clients is less eager to engage with traditional money managers’ staff, and gravitates more toward automated options for investment management needs, panelists said.
She founded Miss Kaya.
For young women, interest in long-term financial planning is paramount. Millennial women will live longer, and also face the added constraint of interrupted earnings due to pregnancy and child-raising. This is coupled with a shift in behaviour patterns, as women become more educated and their horizons expand. Therefore, it is crucial that they focus on their finances from an increasingly younger age.
However, recent research from Mastercard is concerning. It shows that in Asia, people under 30 are less financially literate than their older counterparts. Singaporeans in particular registered low scores when it came to financial planning in the Mastercard study. This is an issue that a young entrepreneur, Gina Heng, wants to address by putting up Miss Kaya, a digital financial provider for the modern Asian woman.
Gina,35, observes that women coming of age now have different expectations – they treasure their Asian heritage and sense of duty but with a Western taste for experiences. As she shares their values of putting family needs first while juggling her own dreams, helping women achieve this balance has become her professional mission, one that is coming to life with the launch of Miss Kaya.
Gina boasts that through their proprietary financial tools and strategies, Miss Kaya is uniquely positioned to address this issue.
“The types of online based wealth management services in Asia today are still limited to financial education and product comparisons. We want to bring a new wave of innovation by providing a robust, automated, algorithm-powered, wealth management platform. Miss Kaya, by being the first women-driven robo-advisory platform in Asia that caters to their very needs, serves to empower them to achieve longer-term financial goals and allow them to pursue their dreams,” she said.
Gina and team are pre-launching the site in July, initially offering financial education and beta version of personal portfolio management services. Eventually, they will offer full financial advisory services for women to get engaged with managing their own finances. According to Gina, one of the main services will be a women-focused robo-advisor, across a full range of financial products and Asian markets. “To get there, we are happy to work with various financial service providers in order to develop a strong platform to serve the modern women of Asia, starting with Singapore,” said Gina.
A robo-advisor (robo-adviser) is an online wealth management service that provides automated, algorithm-based portfolio management advice without the use of human financial planners.
Concurrently, Gina serves as a co-founder and CEO of Marvelstone Group. Prior to this, she was a venture partner at Yozma Ventures (Korea) and co-founded asset management firms, One Asia Investment Partners and Leonie Hill Capital in Singapore.
Like many entrepreneurs, Gina has been heavily influenced by her family. Her father was a businessman who started a cake shop that then expanded into baked goods distribution. He taught her to be future-facing, to recognise opportunities, and continuously innovate. It is his tenacity and diligence that she has tried to emulate in her own career.
“My first job after graduation was with an asset management research firm. This opportunity taught me about investment trends, kick-starting my own interest in how to grow money for the future. Having a good understanding of financial markets, I decided to take the leap to build my own hedge fund business to help investors grow their wealth, said Gina.