My husband, who is an avid reader, will periodically send me articles and factoids throughout the day. A few weeks ago, his topics were focused around computers and the new artificial intelligence systems that are being released to the public. One article he sent was The Rise of the Robo Advisor. This sparked a conversation about what the future of investing will look like that left me feeling uncomfortable. Over time, however, my uneasiness was replaced with a growing confidence that our firm provides the following human elements to investing that an algorithm can never simulate.
When you sign up with a robo advisor, you begin by filling out a questionnaire so the robot can input your personality and risk tolerance into its algorithm. But you as an investor go far beyond a questionnaire. Things like your religious background, political beliefs and all-around upbringing, shape the way that you think about the market. Atchley Financial aims to build lasting relationships with our clients by finding out what makes them unique and the big events happening in their lives. The birth of a grandchild, the concerning diagnosis and the new career, these are things that need to be considered when creating a financial plan.
Nick Murray says in his book Simple Wealth Inevitable Wealth, "wealth is not determined by investment performance but investor behavior." As financial planners the largest part of our day is not spent working with funds. It is spent working with people. In times of market fluctuation, we are here for our clients to remind them about their goals and coach them as they allow their long-term investments to grow over time. When investors panic, rationalism becomes scarce and when there is no coach on your side irrational decisions can be made. Robo investing has made executing those irrational decisions much easier.
The last nail in the coffin before I laid my worries over AI investing to rest was hammered last week. I was reminded about a client who had passed away. One of their children called in and was overwhelmed with everything that had to be done for the finances to be distributed. Our office worked overtime to help and ensure that the process was easy as possible.
Our continual coaching goes beyond the account owner in many ways. Whether we are teaching a client's child how to make good use of their 529 funds or bridging the gap between a married couple who don't see eye to eye on finances, our strong connection to our client's families are what separates us from other industry professionals.
Advisors will continue to harness technology to better serve their customers. However, the one factor that must remain is the human factor. We at Atchley Financial Group believe that is what sets our firm apart. As always, we love to hear your thoughts. What are your hopes for the future of investing? What are your fears? Feel free to contact us any time.