There is a popular argument that people no longer need a financial adviser, now that it’s so easy to invest online. I disagree.
Sure, there are plenty of online options for investors. Services like Wealth Horizon and SCM Direct in the UK, Betterment and Wealthfront in the US, or Stockspot and Clover in Australia. Most of them do a great job, and particularly for younger investors, they’re a sensible choice.
The problem, though, with so-called robo-advisers is that most of them are not advisers at all; they’re automated wealth managers. There’s more to good financial planning than investment advice. Everyone can benefit from it and, sooner or later, all of us will need it.
In the internet age we’re bombarded with advice all the time, and it’s very difficult for most people to distinguish between good advice and bad. Much of it is completely conflicted. That’s why it pays to have an objective expert with your very best interests at heart.
And when I say it pays, I mean it pays. Research from Vanguard has shown that, as well as giving you peace of mind, a good adviser can add about 3% to your net investment returns every year. Over the course of your investing lifetime, that can add up to a very substantial sum.
I’m pleased to announce a new five-part infographic video series called The Value of Advice, produced by Regis Media, the producer and sponsor of The Evidence-Based Investor. The series is designed to help advisers to communicate the value they add to their clients and potential clients.
The series can be tailored to each advisory firm that subscribes; in other words, we re-edit each video using the subscriber’s branding, and add their logo, contact details, call-to-action and disclaimer as required. There are versions for different English-speaking markets — principally the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The series is also available in Dutch and in German.
If you’re an adviser and you’re interested in having your own version of The Value of Advice, please contact Sam Willet at firstname.lastname@example.org or Christina Waider at email@example.com for more information. Alternatively you can call us on +44 (0)121 285 2585.
Each day this week we’ll be running a different part of the series. We start today with the first part, entitled Do I need an adviser?