25 November 2015

Robo Advisers and Private Bankers - what is in the tin?

The internet has already caused major changes to the business model of several industries - retail, music and travel come to mind. Do-it-yourself investing via online brokers is also growing rapidly.
Now it may be the turn of investment advice for the rich and not-so-rich private investors. Robo Advisers are on the march! They are claiming to offer a cheaper service, and maybe their investment choices are also superior to those made by humans in Private Banks. The history of Robo Advice is not going back long enough so a proper comparison of performance with traditional investment managers is not possible. And simulated historical performance is to be treated with caution. As this article explains, Robo Advice is also fraught with problems but to compare it with personalised advice has to be made by comparing apples with apples. Many providers of Private Banking services claim to offer a tailor-made service (and charge fees accordingly) but the adviser handling the account is often spoon-fed investment models that come out of - you guessed it! - some computerised model. Do you really think that the armies of account managers employed by the likes of UBS, JP Morgan etal can all be superior money managers in addition to being personable and skillful in holding client's hands or gathering more assets? You may be lucky and hit upon an investment genius but you are as likely to be allocated a dud picker of investments.

4 November 2015

Target Date Funds no Panacea for Retirement

Nobel Prize winner is no fan of Target Date Funds