McKinsey's new report, “The Virtual Financial Advisor: Delivering Personalized Advice in the Digital Age” argues that the prospects for robo-advisors are over hyped. The consulting firm believes that the real growth in wealth management will come from a new model, Virtual Advice.
Charles Schwab & Co., Fidelity Investments and E*TRADE are the standard bearers in the march toward a brave new era of algorithmically juiced wealth management in which $66 billion in revenues is up for grabs. But don’t think “robo” — as in Nutmeg, Wealthfront, Betterment or SigFig. Don’t even think “digital” or “automated” Think “virtual.” A new “McKinsey & Co. report published on Monday indicates that the prospects for robo-advisors are in no way proportional to the remarkable hype accorded to them. “So far it is not clear whether these firms can move beyond simple investment solutions, capture non-millennial investors at scale, or replicate the trust and intimacy of a human advisor,” reads the report entitled “The Virtual Financial Advisor: Delivering Personalized Advice in the Digital Age.”