Investors trust the media more than robo-advice, survey finds

Added 18th March 2016

More investors trust the media on investment matters than robo-advisers despite the rising numbers of start-ups and established companies entering the space, according to Legg Mason’s 2016 Global Investment Study.

Investors trust the media more than robo-advice, survey finds

The survey was completed by 5370 high-net worth investors across 19 markets.

Despite a proliferation of offerings in the UK and predictions that several high street banks are poised to launch their own propositions only 37% of investors aged between 40 and 75 questioned on behalf of Legg Mason said they “trusted robo-advice.”

This compares to 69% of investors who said they trusted their existing financial adviser. Just 33% of respondents added they were “comfortable” receiving advice through an online platform, well below the 62% who said they were comfortable with their financial adviser.

Overseas investors expressed similar sentiments, with just 39% of respondents saying they trust online advice, while only 38% are comfortable with such offerings.

The findings on robo-advice compare badly with other sources of guidance on investment. Some 68% of investors questioned said they trusted the information they read in the media while 55% said they would consult their family and colleagues about investment decisions.

“The survey clearly suggests that, while many robo-advisers are targeting wealthy clients who have traditionally used an IFA or wealth manager, they have a real struggle ahead to persuade investors to make the switch,” said Adam Gent, head of UK sales at Legg Mason.

“Robo-advice is a relatively new concept in the UK so it may be that it grows in popularity over the coming years," he added. "But the bottom line appears to be that wealthy investors, at least for the time being, simply prefer the personal touch that face-to-face advice delivers, both here and abroad.”

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Alex Sebastian

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Alex joined Portfolio Adviser in April 2014 and has been a financial journalist since 2008. He has previously held editorial positions at the Financial Times Group and Euromoney Institutional Investor. Alex is NCTJ qualified and has a degree in economics from the University of Sussex.

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