That is the view of Bruce Moss, founder and strategy director of eValue.
With the FCA and FAMR backing development of automated advice services, robo advice continues to attract great attention and debate within the sector, particularly as to whether it puts traditional models at risk.
Mr Moss told FPT: “Robo advice is sometimes described as a threat to advisers and sometimes as just a gimmick or a fad. Neither of these contradictory descriptions are true. Robo advice will never replace human advisers. However, it is here to stay.
“Just like the motor car, we will wonder how we could ever have managed without robo advice.”
He said that robo advice was “a terrible name” and it was important to realise that “what we are seeing are its first baby steps”.
He said: “Imagine: it’s like people at the end of the 19th century writing off the automobile because it can only travel at 5 miles an hour and must have a man with a red flag walking in front.
“In the US, where robo started about 8 years ago, most do little more than recommend a portfolio of ETFs based on a consumer’s attitude to risk. It is clear that almost all US robos would not meet the FCA’s suitability requirements (and there are growing doubts about this in the US too).
“Because everyone understands the value and reassurance that advice from a human adviser can provide, traditional advice will endure for those consumers who can afford it or have complex needs.
“The drive to robo advice results from the necessity to reduce the cost of advice and, thereby, to help close the “advice gap” created by RDR.
“Consumers will be able to navigate between robo and traditional advice at will, providing the opportunity for traditional advice to be delivered more efficiently. Robo and traditional advice will have a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship.”
He believes robo will cover all the major areas of advice, including: pre-, at- and in- retirement, protection, mortgages and, of course, investment in 5-10 years.
He said: “Through the use of gamification, data aggregation and other techniques, consumers will be engaged to work through a compliant advice process. Work underway on AI and the use of Big Data will provide consumers with tailor-made solutions and added confidence to make decisions.”