Rise of the Robots
Jul. 1, 2019 Article

Rise of the Robots: Top Five Ways Humans Beat out Robots as Wealth Advisors


Automation is changing our world. Robotics have come a long way from powering vacuum cleaners and factory assembly lines. Today, robots are revolutionizing everything from driverless cars to surgery in ways we couldn’t dream of even a decade ago.

Rise of the Robot

Let’s face it, robots are generally much better than we are at analyzing raw data. Wealth advisors certainly benefit from technology that can process information more efficiently and effectively than ever before. In fact, at Mariner Wealth Advisors,our investment team employs a wide range of sophisticated algorithms to compute large swaths of data that can then help inform some of our portfolio-building techniques.

But, as helpful as technology and automation may be at churning out general guides to investment planning, data and analytics only go so far without human perception and cognition to match. Here are five reasons why you might think twice before building your wealth portfolio using an iPhone app alone:

  1. Financial education - Knowledge is power. Arguably, the most important role of a wealth advisor is educating clients. Try asking a robot to explain why interest rates went up or why the stock market has dropped.
  2. Beyond the algorithm - A robot can be great at tax loss harvesting, portfolio building and the like, but what about personal wealth issues such as college savings planning? What if you want to slow down at 60, but you don’t want to stop working altogether? There are so many nuanced life variables that can’t be squeezed into an algorithm.
  3. Deep dive beyond the numbers - A robot can make assumptions and spit out a financial plan based on them, but only a human can talk through the issues and scenarios that impact your life. Suppose you want to know whether you should buy, finance or lease a new car. A robo advisor will ask some of the same basic questions as a human advisor: What’s the interest rate? What’s the lease payment? How long do you plan to keep the car? But, what about your more personal concerns? Should you lease the car through your business? What if you want to give it to your son when he turns 16? A wealth advisor can do a deeper dive and can add value well beyond what a robot can provide.
  4. Alternative investments - Because the robo environment is based on past performance, it’s inherently backward looking. What worked over the past 30 years won’t necessarily work in the future. As wealth advisors, we work hard to find compelling, non-correlated investments that are outside the traditional style box, something that may be even more crucial as the market changes.
  5. Financial therapist - What will you do when the market hits a bad patch, cry on your robot’s shoulder? Sometimes, people need to know everything will be okay in the long run. Empathy is another thing an advisor can provide that robots just don’t get. Contact us for more information about how Mariner Wealth Advisors can support your long-term financial goals.


The views expressed are for commentary purposes only and do not take into account any individual personal, financial, or tax considerations. It is not intended to be personal legal or investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any security or engage in a particular investment strategy.

Mariner, LLC d/b/a Mariner Wealth Advisors (“MWA”) is an SEC registered investment adviser with its principal place of business in the State of Kansas. Registration of an investment adviser does not imply a certain level of skill or training. MWA and its representatives are in compliance with the current registration and notice filing requirements imposed upon registered investment advisers by those states in which MWA maintains clients. MWA may only transact business in those states in which it is notice filed or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from notice filing requirements. Any subsequent, direct communication by MWA with a prospective client shall be conducted by a representative that is either registered or qualifies for an exemption or exclusion from registration in the state where the prospective client resides. For additional information about MWA, including fees and services, please contact MWA or refer to the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website. Please read the disclosure statement carefully before you invest or send money.