Millennials opt for personal touch over robo-advisers

  • By Kate Weber

Legg Mason global investment survey for 2018 revealed some surprise findings with 60 per cent of Millennials opting to choose an adviser over robo-advisers.

In contrast, the latest survey also discovered Baby Boomers were only 32 per cent inclined to seek assistance from an adviser.  

Legg Mason managing director Andy Sowerby, said he was “surprised by the number” but would have to wait for next years result to see if the results are consistently reinforced.

Sowerby also said overall Australians are in “in no hurry to use robo-advisers” continuing to say consumers don’t want to replace the “human touch” just yet.

“They can definitely be enhanced by technology but in general people would feel nervous if they did not have a human to talk to as they make a decision.”

The survey measured answers from 16,810 investors in 17 countries, including 1000 Australian investors.

Millennials made up 37 per cent of respondents, along with 33 per cent Baby Boomers, 19 per cent Gen X and 11 per cent Older.

The survey also found Millennials are choosing to invest differently compared with other generations with a focus on less equities, more alternative investments and more willing to work with advisors whilst embracing technological change.

This matches Westpac’s CEO, Brian Hartzer’s comments at the royal commission when he said the bank will continue to provide finance advice as to not to “abandon” their customers.

However, the bank chief did continue to say that inexpensive, high-quality advice could "potentially" be provided by robo-advisers in future.

“I think developments in that regard are going to become more available and be more scaleable for ordinary people.” Hartzer said.

Globally, Australia ranked the highest with 75 per cent placing the “human touch” as an important factor over robo-advice, compared to 70 per cent on a global scale.