We’re trusting robots with more and more these days: Our luggage, our meals — even our lives on the road. Why not add finances to the list? Bank of America is joining several other banks that want to do just that.
Bloomberg Business reports that Bank of America wants to use algorithms that provide customers with investment advice online or on mobile apps, with no human involvement. Next year, the financial institution wants to roll out an “automated investment prototype,” offering algorithmic advising for accounts less than $US250,000.
Entrusting your hard-earned cash to anyone — or anything — is pretty unnerving. What’s even more wild is that BofA isn’t alone in the pursuit for human-free financial advising: Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley have also said they’re interested in such prototypes. Higher-ups at these banks may be betting that wired young people won’t bat an eye at letting a possibly person-less, cloud-connected system take care of all moolah matters.
What’s even wilder is how quickly “robo advising” is growing. In 2012, it was practically nothing, but by the end of 2016, over $US300 billion in assets could be managed by autonomous advisers. By 2020? It could rocket to $US2.2 trillion, consulting firm A.T. Kearney projected in June.
Why the interest in robo advisers? To cut operating costs, of course. But Bloomberg also reports that key execs think human advisers will sill be needed to manage more nuanced, complicated situations with rich clients, like estate planning and tax advice.
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