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High net worth investors shun robo-advisers

High net worth investors shun robo-advisers

After their own judgement, higher net worth UK investors trust the advice of independent financial advisers most, according to the results of a survey by fixed rate bond provider Minerva Lending.

Just over three quarters – 77 per cent – of the 1,000 people polled with £50,000 or more to invest said they trust their own judgement when making investment decisions, while a similar amount – 72 per cent – said the same of advice provided by an IFA.

Meanwhile robo-advice companies and firms offering software-based investment management tools have yet to win the trust of more experienced, or higher net worth, investors.

Just one in 10 active investors – 12 per cent – said they would trust a robo-adviser to make an investment decision on their behalf, and 22 per cent a standalone piece of software.

Ross Andrews, director of Minerva Lending, said: “IFAs should be genuinely encouraged that nearly three quarters of active investors would trust them to make investment decisions on their behalf.

“For robo-advisers and software-based investment management tools, the survey results are less uplifting.

“It seems that far more people with bigger sums to invest trust manual decision-making processes, whether by themselves or an IFA.”

Also ranking highly as an advice source when making investment decisions is personal contact, namely word of mouth from family and friends.

Three in five – 60 per cent – of active investors polled said they would make investment decisions on the back of this.

Meanwhile 35 per cent said they would trust a stockbroker to make investment decisions on their behalf.

Susan Hill, a chartered financial planner with Susan Hill Financial Planning, said: "I don't think robo-advice is advice. It is people self-selecting answers based on algorithms.

"I don't feel threatened by it but it has its place for people who might want to do a simple investment into an Isa or pension every month."

damian.fantato@ft.com