Speaking to Nest Egg's sister publication, SMSF Adviser, Six Park chief executive Pat Garrett said SMSF trustees often hear the word robo-advice and are off put because they think everything with the service is automated.
“There are parts of the service that should be automated such as the admin, because that’s how the costs come down. A lot of the processes associated with opening an account, assessing the client’s risk profile and their needs can be automated,” said Mr Garrett.
On the investment front, however, across some of the automated service providers in the market there are professionals who do monitor the market conditions and make appropriate asset allocations for clients, which investors, he said, are sometimes not aware of.
“I think the human aspect really resonates with SMSF investors. Ultimately, what the customer wants to know is if there are people behind [the service] that are making really active decisions about asset allocation and what’s going on in the markets,” said Mr Garrett.
According to AlphaBeta strategy and economics agency, SMSF investors don't have much to worry about and neither do funds managers. In general, just 15 per cent of a superannuation funds manager's job is susceptible to automation. This figure also applies to financial brokers, dealers and investment advisers.
The researcher identified issues that relate to sustainable business practices such as gathering information to determine clients' needs and monitoring activities, and the preparation and maintenance of financial documents and sales reports as areas that can be automated.
The requirement for critical thinking is what will keep funds managers in a job.
The researcher behind the report, Andrew Charlton said: "Humans are still indispensable. The algorithm sifting through piles of big data cannot function without a human mind that specifies the rules it must follow, and data used to train deep neural networks must be labelled so the algorithm can learn.
"Computers are still far inferior to humans in handling unpredictable situations that require out-of-the-box thinking, empathy and understanding other humans."