In case you haven’t been paying attention, we are living in the beginning years of the Age of Machines. Robots, Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Self-Driving Cars, and now “Robo” Investment Advisors. And the machines can be very precise and diligent at what they do. But what they can’t be is human. Humans have qualities that, to date, escape machines. Humans have a connection to other humans. We have feelings, emotions, and an accountability to each other. This human-to-human connection can be a powerful motivator when we are attempting to change our behavior.
Think about someone wearing a smart watch. The watch can tell you when to stand, breath, and even record the amount of exercise each day. But it is very bad at holding you accountable. It can’t tell you that it cares about you (not in a credible way) and that it only wants the best for you. Not like a human. Because when a human is standing there in front of you, holding you accountable, it is very difficult to avoid the unfavorable perceptions we think others may have about us when we lapse into our prior bad behavior. It’s always easy to take off the watch and feel very little guilt. It’s another thing to ignore an existing human relationship who cares about you.
So it is with financial advice. You can utilize automated finance programs to help determine ways to achieve goals, set investment allocations, rebalance portfolios, and automatically buy and sell investments. But no automated finance program, computer, robot or other machine is going to care about you, relate to you, and hold you accountable to achieve your family’s lifetime financial goals like another human.
The value of hiring a caring, experienced, fee-only professional Certified Financial Planner isn’t in the creation of the financial plan, or in the asset allocation that they devise, or even in the investments that they choose. All of those things are created using the machines. No, the value of hiring the professional advisor is in the human relationship that is created. The caring bond that allows true behavior modification. Whether to increase savings, decrease debt, avoid selling at a bottom or getting too greedy at the top, the value is in avoiding the big mistakes and making the proper choices while on the journey to achieving your lifetime goals. Let us know if we can help.