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Most Consumers Open to Robo-Only Retirement Advice

January 30, 2017

Most people are willing to trust robo-advisors for retirement planning and investment advice, but the majority also want human interaction when it comes to more complex tasks, according to a new survey from consulting firm Accenture.

Sixty-eight percent of people are open to robo-only advice for retirement planning and 78% say they’d welcome it for investing advice, according to a survey of close to 33,000 consumers, of which close to 10,000 were working with a professional wealth or asset manager, in 18 countries and regions conducted in May and June by Accenture.

And yet 68% of respondents say they’d prefer to deal with a human if they have complaints and 61% want to talk to an actual person about complex financial decisions such as mortgages, according to the survey. In addition, 73% of those surveyed want to get personalized advice in wealth management, and most consumers are willing to give up personal information to get tailored services.


Nonetheless, Accenture also found that 38% of consumers would switch to Google, Amazon or Facebook for financial advice services, while only 31% would go to one of the tech giants for banking and 29% for insurance.

The good news for financial advisors is that consumers aged 18 to 21 years old are only slightly more likely to switch to a Google or Amazon for financial services, so even younger generations apparently still find value in traditional financial advice. Therefore, financial services firms need to adapt a “phygital” strategy that combines physical human staff support at easily accessible branches with digital technology, Accenture claims.

By Alex Padalka