Hot topic of the week…

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A recent Oxford University study warned of the looming end for advisers due to clever algorithms and smart machines waiting in the wings to takeover.  A few of you agreed the end is nigh, however most commenters said it’s impossible to replace human interaction with computers.

Melinda Houghton didn’t feel that advisers had anything in common with loan officer - the study’s top predicted profession to be computerised. “Reading body language, coaching, guiding, overcoming objections, educating, tough love and many other functions [are part of what] we do. More like teachers than loan brokers I think,” she said.

While SS said the study was a perfect example of the limitations of machines and that relationship-based planners have nothing to worry about.

Brian said we were looking at it all wrong, and should marry the two together: “Technology is a vehicle by which skilled advisers can deliver advice and recommendations to clients. The contemporary myth that technology can replace personal interaction has been repeatedly debunked but keeps raising its ugly head.”

Much financial advice is tailored to each individual client and is based on their differing goals and positions – that can’t be replicated by machines, said Andrew Newman.

However, some of you, like Pat said most of what financial services provide can be automated on a platform that allows people to keep track of their situation: “This will help all those people who aren't seeing a planner now (which is something like 80% of the adult population) to start doing something. Better than seeing a conflicted intra-fund adviser.”

Elio Centofanti also agreed with the study: “Eventually I do see people being able to plug in their own parameters and goals and receiving a series of options to implement. As systems become more intuitive solutions will be more tailored. A loose connection but look at the evolution of gaming, from the old tennis game to now. If you think things won't change, you're dreaming.”

Read the article and see more comments here.