The time has come to let a robot handle your money.
I know, I know. Handing the keys to your portfolio to the investing equivalent of Siri sounds either really stupid or too good to be true. But the reality is, in the past few months, what was once an experimental Silicon Valley curiosity, “robo investors”—newfangled software that manages your holdings, originally developed by scrappy startups—has gone mainstream. Even major financial companies, including Schwab and Vanguard, have begun offering automated investment advice.
And the investing masses, fresh off the most recent market crash, couldn’t be happier. A recent Schwab survey found that 40% of millennials and Gen Xers would prefer a portfolio based on a computer to one based on a human adviser’s decisions.
Of course, this is all pretty crummy news for hack brokers, but it’s terrific news for you. In many ways, robots are the ideal investors. In fact, they’re probably the most levelheaded dudes on Wall Street: They don’t suffer from fear or greed—the source of most money mistakes—and they don’t charge much. And, unlike the debauched schemers working for Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, they won’t sell you worthless penny stocks, snort coke, or bang prostitutes on their desks.
Now, for many people, hiring the right (human) financial adviser is still the smartest money move they can make (and, for the record, I highly recommend it). But good advice is often expensive, and not everyone has the time or energy to find the “right” person and start a “relationship.” Frankly, in the time it will take you to read this article, you could’ve opened a robo account and started investing in ways your father could only have dreamed of. Of course, that’s if you know what you’re doing.
So whether your goal is to pay for retirement, buy a house, or just build wealth, here’s your guide to the investing of the future.