How technology is impacting financial advice
While financial guidance for some is a service better delivered in person, Generation Y is calling for a new way of doing things.
Increased mobile usage in the Middle East, coupled with the rise of the millennial generation, has paved the way for a new type of financial advice: the digital kind. And while financial guidance for some is a service better delivered in person, Generation Y is calling for a new way of doing things.
As digital disruption continues to ripple through every industry, here's a look at just a few innovative ways it seems to be impacting financial advice.
Cheap to use and fairly convenient, robo-advisers offer automated financial planning with minimal human interaction. A relatively new concept in the Middle East, a robo-adviser combines algorithms with information obtained from the client to form data-driven recommendations. The pros? They're perfect for the younger generation who are more comfortable doing things online. However, robo-advisers come in all shapes and sizes so read the small print before you click, agree or sign up for any financial product.
A digital adviser is a hybrid of a robo-adviser and a traditional financial planner. Offering the ease and convenience of their robo contemporary, a digital adviser adds in the human element by making a personal adviser accessible via chat or telephone. This, of course, is at the individual's discretion. I guess the appeal here, is knowing that you have the option to meet an adviser should your investment needs require it. For investors who prefer some form of human interaction when making a money-related decision, perhaps consider combining digital investing tools with a personal financial adviser.
Webinars are a proven educational tool across most sectors. In finance, however, few people use them to their advantage when it comes to seeking financial advice. Insightful and (often) free, webinars offer the expertise of a financial planner without the need for a face-to-face meeting. Similarly, look out for SlideShare presentations and blog posts on LinkedIn or other business social media platforms. Again, if you spend some time researching previous posts, you'll often find all sorts of informative and free information.
IM with banks
While instant messaging between friends has been replaced with Whatsapp, Snapshat and Twitter, IM is proving a savvy tool for the region's banks. To further improve communication and engagement with customers, a number of banks in the UAE are now using online chat to connect accountholders with a customer service agent. This form of communication medium not only offers up real-time advice, but it allows the consumer to air their concerns or queries without worrying about a costly phone bill. Too, it reduces a potential backlog of calls for the bank. So as more local banks in the region invest in their digital strategy - from content-based websites to IM - we expect to see more exploration of digital financial advice moving forward.
The writer is chief executive at compareit4me.com. Views expressed by him are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.