Advisors who don’t think the so-called “robo-advisors” will become a threat are in for a rude awakening, according to Ron Carson.
“Robo-advisors are going to be a bigger threat than we realize,” the founder of Carson Wealth told attendees of the LPL Focus conference on Monday. Carson, who has an account with one of the biggest online advisory platforms, Betterment, says the tools offered by the service at that price point make it difficult for advisors to compete on just an asset allocation level.
Carson pointed out that as the robo-advisors sit today, they’re no threat unless they evolve. But Carson says that with the level of venture capital already invested in these platforms, “there’s too much capital there not to evolve.”
He highlighted the recent move by Convergent Wealth founder Steve Lockshin to invest in Betterment to help them roll out a new advisor component to the service, Betterment Institutional, aimed at advisors who want to use the platform for their clients. Eventually the reason these robo-advisors are going to be successful is because they’re going to take the best technology available and combine it with human beings, giving clients the option to leverage both. Carson brough Lockshin onto the board of Carson Wealth Management Group in January.
The tech offerings is going to continue to change, Carson says, adding that he hopes advisors also continue to change. “Reinvent yourself before the competition forces you to,” he says.