Robo-advisors: What are the fact and figures telling us?

I am listening to my followers and readers. I see that Linkedin is not the first choice of quality content producers in the Fintech/Blockchain ecosystem. Other platforms like Medium are stealing market share with an accelerating rate. However, Linkedin is a better platform in spreading the word, the message, the vision and in getting others to interact.

My Daily Fintech post from last week Barron’s exclusive Robo-advisor ranking and 3 unanswered questions resonated and the digital KPIs alerted me to that. From double the views on DailyFintech to 15,000 views on Linkedin but more importantly, several great insights shared in the commentary.

Who said What?

It is grape harvest season in the south of Europe. I’ve harvested the conversations and distilled them (not word for word).

Seth Godin “It’s far more dangerous to fly too low than too high” – “The Icarus Deception” book

Efi Pylarinou – “Doing Nothing in this new era, is Unsafe” – from my  Dec 2015 year end post Digital wealth management and the Icarus deception

Linkedin post with commentary

Efi Pyalrinou  – “We seem to be chasing existing customers instead of growing the customer base”

Richard Turrin – “The incumbents were initially “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”. This maybe continuing.”

Paolo Sironi  -“Cheaper costs doesn’t mean, higher value for underserved clients that need help with understanding investing and investment products”.

Vinay Jayaram – “The robo-advisory adoption over the past few years, is mostly evidence of a Lemming effect at play and at scale.”

Lex Sokolin and April Rudin – “The devil is in the details. Qualitative comparison of features remains tricky.”.

We are all waiting for the release of the full detailed report and we need to thank Ken Schapiro for the report which provoked these conversations.

The facts and figures are not disputed but the true impact from this robo-advisory adoption is not at all clear.

Lemmings are small rodents that have been observed to follow each other as they charge to their deaths- into raging rivers or even off cliffs. They soon become victims of a psychological affliction known as “the lemming effect.” 

lemming effectSource

The lemming effect has been frequently highlighted in the investment behavior of managers and is a behavioral reality that we like to ignore. The robo-advisory segment will have to demonstrate that it is not plagued by the Lemming effect. Lest gove it more time.

Efi Pylarinou is a Fintech thought-leader, consultant and investor. 

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