The threat from independent robo-advisors has been successfully countered so far by the traditional incumbents who have retaliated by acquiring or launching robo-advisors of their own and expediting their efforts to embrace this new technology to grow.
Independent robo-advisors are under increasing pressure to diversify their offerings and add other high-touch, high-margin services in order to survive, as the big banks like Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and HSBC are all launching robo-advisory services of their own.
Several high profile independent robos that tried to make niche plays have shuttered in 2018. And there is increasing regulatory pressure. The SEC has taken its first major regulatory actions in December 2018 against robo-advisors in an effort to crack down on misleading information and false advertising.