The question of the day is all about using online investment services. In other words; Should You or Shouldn’t You? Naturally, as you might well expect with this sort of question, there is no one size fits all answer here.
Working DefinitionLet’s begin with a good clear definition of what we are talking about here so that everyone is on the same page. For the purposes of this article, we will define an online investment service as any sort of investment service where you don’t have the dedicated attention of a specific financial adviser. In most cases, this is done as a sort of lowering the bar if you will so that those with fewer dollars to invest can still benefit from professional advice. Robo-Advisers?
Although you may have encountered the term robo-advisers in and around your Google Searches for investment advice, this phrase is something of a disservice to the industry.Uh, hmm; not so much. Actually this is considered to be somewhat of a derogatory term by those in the business. Although you may have encountered the term robo-advisers in and around your Google Searches for investment advice, this phrase is something of a disservice to the industry. For example, the term “robo” implies more of a commoditized, mass produced product. Yet as you already know, each financial situation is unique. Consequently it would not make sense to try and use one size fits all approach.
What’s Available?It turns out that there is a wide range of online investment services out there. Depending on which firm you are looking at, you can receive access to services such portfolio management, asset management, investment advising, financial planning, portfolio analysis, online brokerage services, asset allocation advice and more. The point is that depending on your own personal financial situation, chances are you can locate an online investment advisory service that fits your needs.
How Do They Do It?Understand that even the best online investment service can only work with what you give them. Most of these firms start the process with an online questionnaire for you to fill out. For example, should you happen to interested in how best to allocate your assets among the various investment choices available to you, the online questionnaire will have specific questions about your time horizon. Using this information, the adviser will then suggest a model portfolio for you to model based on that timeline.
Using an online investment adviser means you have to take the time out to carefully think through the initial part of the setup.At the same time, there are some online investment advisory services that offer to select which portfolios that best fit your time horizon, your risk tolerance, that sort of thing. The point to get here is that using an online investment adviser means you have to take the time out to carefully think through the initial part of the setup. Otherwise, the advice you receive, the portfolio models and such will have little to no real meaning.