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Online Financial Advising: Yay or Nay?


Thanks to rapid advances to technology, we now have the ability to perform many actions that used to have to be done “in-person” on the web. We’re talking everything from depositing a check, which bankers can now do by taking a photo with their mobile phones, to renting movies, to paying bills, to talking with somebody while being able to see them with apps like Skype and FaceTime.


One of the newer things that is popping up on the web is online financial advising. According to a recent U.S. News article, online financial advising is so new that the jury is still out as to whether the majority of consumers feel comfortable leaving their investment advice up to a program or “random” person online.


Author Daniel Bortz reported that companies like LearnVest, Personal Capital, and Future Advisor are just a few of the online options that believe consumers will, sooner or later, realize the advantages to online financial advice and make the switch. Of course there are perks and drawbacks to both in-person and online, so we wanted to lay them out for you today so you can draw your own conclusions.


Having an in-person financial advisor is going to cost a heck of a lot more, but then again consumers have the experience of sitting down with an actual human being in a banking environment. Another perk is that investing is emotional territory, and humans can be better at assessing how their much risk their clients are apt to want to take. Online financial advising is going to be much less expensive, leaving the option open for middle and lower class consumers to take advantage of services. Some of the websites also offer the ability to contact an advisor online anytime, as opposed to strictly business hours. And lastly, some advisors believe that computer algorithms are better than humans at predicting which type of investing is best for individual consumers’ needs, desires, and risk type.


Bottom line is that it’s up to you as a consumer, however we support the fact that web-based financial advising is making it affordable for families and people who might not otherwise be able to afford professional aid.