Due to over regulation in the Financial Planning Sector most CFP (Certified Financial Planners) cannot afford to take clients who have less than $500,000 in net worth. This now leaves a huge gap in the market and means most in the Middle Class are left in the cold. To fill this gap financial firms have developed RoboAdvisors which uses artificial intelligence to help people determine how best to invest their money and develop their financial retirement portfolio based on their income, risk aversion, lifestyle, and time until retirement. On the surface this sounds like a sound solution, but it’s not without its own set of challenges – one of which I’d like to discuss here today.
You see, even if these artificial intelligent RoboAdvisors only deal with low net worth people, the sheer volume will add up to trillions of dollars of investment and annual growth. These RoboAdvisors AI machines will inadvertently become market makers as they invest in various companies. This new investment in bonds will lift some bonds that don’t deserve to elevated, driving prices up into bubble territory. Of course, these RoboAdvisors can then show how well they’ve done in hindsight by the increased market value of stocks and bonds that they’ve recommended. See the problem yet?
Worse, less sophisticated low net worth investors have no idea what’s happening and assume everything is peachy, even if these systems are developing bubbles in the market and distorting free-market balances needed for the markets to be successful. Consider if you will the challenges with high-frequency trading and all the havoc those AI run algorithms have caused; flash crashes, stock market stop gaps, and torched corporate shareholder equity in minutes. Will RoboAdvisors give us more of the same? No, it will be a slow bubble build, but they will definitely distort the market.
Why did all this happen? It started with over regulation, do-gooder regulators, Wall Street lobbyists, and wire house fraudulent practices over time. The problem now is the overkill and overstepping the bounds of financial market regulations has caused future challenges. No, that’s not unexpected either, we’ve watched government regulators do dumb things in the past and the law of unintended consequences results – that is all too common.
Are we watching these RoboAdvisors and paying attention to these rapid changes in the financial advisor sector. Human advisors are over regulated rather than just outlawing unsafe investment vehicles like high-commission annuities, and other high-risk investments as Wall Street attempts to sell the crap to the fishes, little investors. Yes, the big banks want a piece of the financial advisor sector, and they have lots of low net worth customers who they rake over the coal with fees, but killing the human kind of advisor for a RoboAdvisor isn’t helping anyone, it’s just killing more jobs and giving consumers fewer choices, all the while distorting markets – dumb.
Meanwhile, as I pinned this article, I received an email news alert from our local county Economic Development Council – we lost 100 jobs in the category of financial advisors in the last quarter, and mind you that’s only our little county with less than 1-million in population. This means there will be even fewer advisors to personally work with clients thus, forcing folks to use an AI software program to invest their life’s savings – worried yet?