Financial Planning
Robo-advice users in for the long haul

Young people are increasingly turning to robo-advice services for long-term goals like growing wealth outside of superannuation and saving for retirement, according to Six Park.

Insights from the automated investment platform show 36.5% of its users are attempting to grow wealth outside of super, while 28.6% are using it to accrue retirement savings.

Six Park said these trends are most obvious across under the age of 45, with the pursuit of long-term goals now more common than saving to buy a property, go on holiday or pay for a wedding.

"It's very encouraging to see younger people be more engaged with their long-term savings activities, especially in the 18-24 age bracket," Six Park chief executive Pat Garrett said.

The top reasons driving use of automated investment and advice platforms were lower fees and investment diversification, highlighted by 18.3% and 16.7% of users respectively.

"It's no surprise that the younger demographic is embracing technology in financial services, and these results demonstrate that these clients understand that investing is not about getting rich quick or timing the market - it's about creating wealth over time through intelligent investment diversification and keeping fees low, the main value propositions of Six Park," Garrett said.

Viewing the data through a gender lens, half of Six Park's female clients are checking the progress of their portfolios at least once a month and their most common goal is the ability to purchase a property in the near-term; 25% of females flagged this, compared to just 10% of men. In contrast, more than half of Six Park's male clients are checking their portfolios on a daily or weekly basis.

"An analysis of more than eight million clients by Fidelity in 2017 suggested that women outperform men when it comes to generating a return on their investment, so this client feedback is not surprising.  We're very pleased to see more women using robo-advice as a smart way to build their savings," Garrett said.

Listing concerns about the investment landscape at large, over-45s listed the cost of financial advice and the fear of retiring without enough in savings as their biggest worries.

Meanwhile, 13.3% of respondents cited trust and transparency as a key issue. However, Garrett noted the study was conducted pre-Royal Commission.

"I would expect that client concerns about fees, transparency and long-term returns would be even more heightened given the abuses uncovered in the market," he said.

Read more: Six Parkrobo-adviceFidelityfinancial advicePat GarrettRoyal Commission
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