In this era of self-driving cars, what decisions are
you comfortable entrusting to a computer?
How about financial advice?
New digital platforms can manage your portfolio and
charge less than a human financial adviser.
Consumer Reports examines whether it's time to make
the switch to a
When Allison Cohen began investing, she opened an
account, with a robo-adviser a relatively new breed
of online financial advisers that use computer algorithms
-- based on your risk tolerance and timeline -- to
recommend investments for you, for a fraction of the
cost of a human adviser.
It didn't feel old or stodgy or conservative.
It felt really on the cutting edge of the future of
Cohen is not alone.
Consumer Reports says robo-advisers have become big
Robo-advisers manage an estimated 53 billion dollars
-- and that number is expected to grow to between
five and seven trillion dollars in the next ten years.
Some of the players include companies like Wealthfront
Asset-management giant Schwab is also getting into
But experts at Consumer Reports say going robo requires
a fair amount of faith in the technology.
Especially in a rocky market.
There's no real track record.
Robo services haven't been around that long -- and
haven't been tested in a true bear market.
Plus, robos don't account for the human element of
A robo-adviser cannot help you prioritize several
Should you pay down debt or save more? Nor can it
help you navigate tricky financial situations like
divorce or saving for college or handling the finances
of an aging parent.
Still, for someone like Allison Cohen, a robo-adviser
could be the way to go, particularly as a way to jump
into the market.
Deciding between a costlier human adviser and a cheaper
computer solution depends on a variety of factors,
including your financial circumstances, your reaction
to risk, and your comfort level with recently developed