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Logan’s Run, Blade Runner, The Terminator and other dystopian Hollywood films suggest that the rise of the machines is something that should be feared. But in the world of finance, the robo-adviser is widely considered to be good news for those who have felt priced out of traditional investment advice – or who want to tap into new technology to invest. A whole host of online investment firms have cropped up in recent years, offering to help you pick and manage a portfolio, meet your financial goals and make money – all for a ‘modest’ fee. And they have been become known as robo-advisers. Nutmeg is the most established robo in the UK and is a recognisable name to some Londoners, who have been exposed to the brand through its countless tube adverts. These services tend to be lumped under the bracket of robo-advice, but what do they actually do, how do you find the right one and do they really offer financial advice?
We look at a selection and what they do below. Robo-advisers – also called online wealth managers – are a collection of new digital investment firms, which have worked out low-cost ways to help individuals invest with the help of technology. Instead of a person grilling an individual on every aspect of their finances, the robo-adviser typically offers an online risk profiling tool in the form of a questionnaire. From the results of this, an algorithm then works out a suitable investment portfolio and recommends it – although customers tend to be free to adjust this if they want. Ongoing costs of 1 per cent and plus the cost of underlying investments also apply. The firm said its charges are always less than 0. Vestor for advice, portfolio management, custody and administration of the underlying portfolios.
The rest will go on fund costs, which range between 0. A monthly flat fee of 0. 75 per cent which is calculated on the average value of a customer’s portfolio each month. Investment costs of up to 0. 19 per cent and also apply. For passive funds, fees are between 0. For active, charges are between 1.