Savers will limit their use of automated financial advice, known as ‘robo-advice’ to investments under £1,000, according to new research.

So called ‘robo-advice’ is aimed at DIY investors and is designed to choose funds and spread risk on the consumers’ behalf based on algorithms. It is seen by some as the solution to making financial advice more accessible.

Research carried out by online investment site True Potential Investor shows that 65% of investors would use ‘robo-advice’ up to £1,000 before opting for a professional adviser. Fewer than 10% would invest more than £5,000 based on ‘robo-advice’.

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Meanwhile only 22% of investors would trust ‘robo-advice’ as a full replacement to a professional financial adviser.

The digital approach to financial advice has been widely adopted in the US, but UK investors have yet to see technology that can truly be classified as ‘robo-advice’. Despite an industry rush to unveil ‘robo-advice’ services, True Potential believes a hybrid model will emerge.

David Harrison, Managing Partner at True Potential, said:

Technology certainly has a big role in the future of personal financial management and advice, but we are not there yet. None of the technology on the market can truly be described  as ‘robo-advice’, which would require very sophisticated artificial intelligence to work properly.

“Technology enables consumers to make small investments where it would not make sense to go through an adviser. Since we launched impulseSave, more than £30m has been saved by consumers in small amounts without the need for advice.”

At True Potential’s financial adviser conference in January, 80% of advisers said they saw ‘robo-advice’ as an opportunity for their business, not a threat. True Potential expects that consumers will opt for a hybrid model, comprising both technology and face-to-face advice.

David Harrison added: “Robo-advice is not going to replace financial advisers any time soon. For larger investments, I think people will still want to talk to another human being and our research supports this.”

Fifty per cent of respondents to True Potential Investor’s research said they would choose both ‘robo’ and face-to-face advice depending on the size of the investment.

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