Toronto advisors facing 'Robo-advisors' challenge

Toronto advisors facing 'Robo-advisors' challenge

Toronto advisors facing

Advisors are letting new online ‘robo-advisor’ tools, like Standard Life’s Motion Profiler, roll off their backs, arguing that the one-on-one advice and a two-way conversation will always override the latest tech gimmick.

The Motion Profiler – released Tuesday by Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada – is an online questionnaire that provides a snapshot into an investor's financial outlook – including economic confidence, job security, investment concerns and preferences. A score out of 100 and a designation into one of five profiles – concerned investor, cautious analyzer, contented passive, confident accumulator and sophisticated investor – are assigned and emailed to clients and/or their advisor.

“They (online tools) have their usefulness. What I disagree with is if that’s the only thing you are using to help decide the client criteria,” says Marc Lamontagne of Ryan Lamontagne Inc. “You still can’t beat the sit down and talk with the client.”

Caroline Paton, a Toronto-based, fee-only financial planner and money coach, agrees, adding that online tools are limiting when creating in-depth financial plans.

"You can use a tool to forecast how much you might need for retirement, but full financial planning is a lot more than projection. It cannot be easily replaced through a technology tool," explains Paton. "It’s a conversation you have to have to change their (clients) beliefs about money.” (continued.)

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