Personal Finance

Who Needs a Financial Advisor?

Robo-advisors have emerged as a low-cost option for investors who want to put their portfolios on auto-pilot, without paying the high fees of hiring a financial advisor. However, this doesn't mean that human financial advisors are obsolete.

In this clip, Michael Douglass and Matt Frankel discuss who might be better off hiring a financial advisor, and who would be fine with a robo-advisor.

A full transcript follows the video.

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This video was recorded on Nov. 13, 2017.

Michael Douglass: When might it make sense to use a human financial planner and not merely a robo-advisor?

Matt Frankel: Basically, if you want your investments on autopilot, and your financial life is not very complicated, a robo-advisor might be a good idea. If you have a more complicated situation, let's say you need estate planning advice, like, the value of your estate is going to be over the taxable threshold, or if you have a really complex tax situation, or you want insurance planning advice, or something like that, that a robo-advisor is just not going to give you, in that case, if you're a very high net-worth individual and want access to other investment opportunities, perhaps, any of those situations where it's a little more complicated, you might want to look into actually talking to a person. Still, even if you do that, it's worth shopping around for the fees. Like I said, this is putting pressure on the whole industry to keep their costs in line.

Douglass: Right. Of course, there are the people in between for whom a hybrid model, a robo-advisor that's handling the day to day investing, but then a wealth manager who is perhaps checking in a couple of times a year and talking about specific tax issues and things like that, could be very useful. Anyway, the point is, everyone's financial circumstances are different. We can't tell you which one makes the most sense for you. But it's a really interesting, low cost option, and it's one that's made a tremendous difference in the broader space of wealth management.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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