Some have heralded robo-advisors as the “future of investing,” but computer algorithms won’t replace human financial advisors. These low-cost, digital platforms have investors fill out an online form, then its software analyzes the responses and dispenses investment advice. While robo-advisors may be less expensive, they lack the nonpareil human element which is essential to the qualities and services characteristic of traditional financial advisors. 

Here are three reasons why human financial advisors provide more value than robo-advisors.

Author Calvin Goetz, co-founder of Strategy Financial Group, LLC, an Arizona registered investment advisor, has dedicated more than a decade of his professional career to serving the financial and retirement planning needs of clients across the nation.

1. Money is an Emotional Matter

The key difference between a robo-advisor and a human financial advisor is a human advisor’s ability to offer emotional guidance. Meeting clients face-to-face allows for behavioral coaching and hand holding, helping investors develop positive budgeting and wealth management habits that lead to long-term financial security. When markets decline or experience an upset, human advisors can work with clients to help them make rational financial decisions and overcome detrimental emotions or impulses.

2. Everyone has a Unique Financial Situation

Automated online platforms are unable to match the personalized counseling and guidance human advisors provide to help clients achieve long-term financial success. Instead, robo-advisors rely solely on computerized algorithms to determine asset allocation. While traditional financial advisors may use similar strategies, they also rely on professional history, which includes working with a variety of clients with unique financial situations. Additionally, human advisors may work with a team or have additional financial tools at their disposal to determine the best investment objectives for each client.

3. It’s About More Than Just Investments 

Investment advice is just a small part of a complete financial plan. The most sophisticated robo-advisors may offer automatic portfolio rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting, but they don’t come close to providing the full range of services that human financial advisors offer. As people move through life, their priorities and financial goals evolve. Human financial advisors are able to create nuanced investment strategies that take into account changing life circumstances. Comprehensive financial planning should include retirement, insurance, and estate planning services, the best exercise of stock options, cash flow monitoring, and more to help people achieve their financial aspirations.

While robo-advisors are gaining more capabilities and media attention, they aren’t close to replacing human financial advisors. Millennials, once believed to be the biggest proponents of robo-advisors, actually chose human advisors nearly two-to-one over automated investment services, according to a recent study by LendEDU.

Robo-advisors may be useful for beginner investors with limited assets, but they lack the full range of benefits that would let them serve as true replacements for traditional, human financial advisors.


Financial adviser, retirement wealth strategist, founder of Strategy Financial Group and author of “Climbing the Retirement Mountain” and “The Retirement Roadmap,” Calvin Goetz is an Investment Adviser Representative who holds the Series 65 securities license, is life and health insurance licensed in the state of Arizona and is a member of Ed Slott’s Elite IRA Advisor Group™ and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). For more information, visit