Robo-advice 

Advisers' robo face off

Samantha Downes

Samantha Downes

Last year my husband and I went to a friends party. This party was not to mark a significant birthday but the day that Marty McFly - the lead character of the Back to the Future movies - ended up in the future.

The party was held on 21 October 2015. This date was dubbed Back to the Future Day by fans of the film and refers to the date which the characters Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown travel to in the second installment of the Back to the Future trilogy















The following day, 22 October 2015, and albeit a bit hung over, we watched the movie with our two young daughters.















The fictitious 2015 didn’t look that much different from the real 2015. In fact even hoverboards have been invented, though maybe not in quite the form Marty enjoyed enjoyed travelling on. The other stand out thing for me was that the characters in the film may have gone about things differently but they still faced the same challenges; problematic interpersonal relationships and money worries.















So last week’s revelation that almost 6,000 people have used LV's full automated financial advice service since it was launched in summer 2015, maybe shouldn’t be greeted with too much concern by advisers.















Also LV said it was "unable" to reveal how many of the 6,000 customers who paid the £199 for a full statement of advice went on to pay £499 to execute the statement of advice.















LV's Retirement Wizard is regarded as one of the more comprehensive robo advice services on the market.















Unlike many of the automated guidance services available, it provides FCA-regulated financial advice, and therefore competes more closely with human financial advisers.















That is as maybe, but if our trip to the world of Back to the Future is anything to go by, human beings will - unless they become robotic themselves - still need face-to-face advice. 

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