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Young people – namely millennials – love technology. They don’t care any more about personal service. They’d rather interact with a screen than a person. In particular, when it comes to their finances, they’d rather work with a “robo-advisor” than a human advisor. Right?

Well, not so fast. A recent study illustrates otherwise. The summary article posed this question: “For tech-savvy millennials eager to grow their portfolio and their bank account, robo-advisors seem like a match made in heaven, right?” It answered its own question: “Wrong. We found that, when it comes to their hard-earned money, millennials still want a human-being handling it.”

When you think about the need for your employees to receive the human touch on matters relating to their finances, keep in mind the following findings from a survey of millennials:

  • Traditional advisors are nearly two times more prevalent among millennials than robo-advisors.
  • 62% think robos are more likely to lose their money than human advisors.
  • 69% think humans can get them better returns on their investments than robos.
  • 52% think robos are more likely to make mistakes managing their money.

Despite technology being a major selling point for robo-advisors, only 12% of respondents who use robo-advisors indicated this as a benefit.

This serves as a good reminder of the perils of painting with a broad brush across large groups of employees. It appears that even with a greater dependence on technology, people continue to want to work with people, particularly when it comes to money.

Matthew Eickman
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