Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see.
The extent to which robo-advisory is either a boon or threat to the traditional wealth management industry has been a major question on the minds of financial advisors since the emerge of the tool set right after the 2008-09 financial crisis. Early movers like Betterment and Wealthfront have attracted clients and capital, and legacy players from Charles Schwab to Morgan Stanley have launched their own offerings — often through acquisitions or partnerships with pure players. But many traditional wealth managers argue that the idea of replacing human advisors entirely is a pipe-dream, and a dangerous one, at that.
Scott Moss is a Partner at the New York-based law firm Lowenstein Sandler, where advises P/E, hedge fund and family office clients on regulatory compliance matters. He says the robo-advisory space poses unique risks to the century-old model of credible human advisors helping people make potentially life changing decisions about their assets. But these risks, he says, are manageable if handled carefully. He spoke with Karma Contributor Editor Michael Moran.