Can a robot help you invest for retirement?

Taking automated, online advice is much cheaper than using a traditional financial adviser.

Can a robot help you invest for retirement?

More and more retirement savers are turning to automated financial advice, or robo-advice, to help them invest for the future.

Why? Well, it's a lot cheaper for a start.

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Robo-adviser Wealth Wizards, for example, typically charges £65 for advice on investments of up to £30,000, and 0.30%, or £300, for guidance on what to do with a £100,000 retirement savings pot.

A typical financial adviser, meanwhile, charges about £580 for telling you how to invest a £200-a-month pension contribution, or between £1,000 and £2,000 for at-retirement advice on your £100,000 pot, according to figures from UK adviser network Unbiased.

Taking automated advice is also a lot quicker and easier than setting up a meeting with a human adviser.

Almost seven in 10 global consumers would be happy to use robo-advice to plan for retirement, a recent report from consultancy Accenture found, with many feeling it would be faster, cheaper, and more impartial than human advice.

Pete Connell at Wealth Wizards said: "The real power of robo-advice is that it makes advice accessible and affordable to everyone, not just those with a lot to invest."

How does robo-advice work?

Robo-advice is financial advice that is delivered online by a computer rather than a human. It's basically a two-step process.

1. You answer questions about your income, expenses, and goals, as well as your attitude to risk firms use algorithms to analyse your financial situation and goals and then work out an investment plan to suit you.

2. The algorithm recommends how to split your savings between a mix of investments, which could include cash, fixed-income bonds and equities.

If you need further clarification, or have complex financial issues on which you need advice, you can then ask to speak to a human adviser - for an additional fee.

Where can I get robo-advice on my retirement savings?

If you are looking for advice because you are about to retire, you can try insurer LV's Retirement Wizard service.

Launched in 2015, it is aimed at people retiring in the next three months with savings of up to £150,000.

John Perks at LV said: "Retirement Wizard was constructed to mirror how an adviser works with a client by asking the same questions about everything from attitude to risk to income streams."

The report Retirement Wizard produces based on the information you provide costs £199 and includes specific product recommendations you can choose whether or not to take.

If you are a younger saver looking for advice on where to invest, Wealth Wizards' robo-advice services start at just £65.

You will have to pay more if you require human advice on top of this. A hour of an administrator's time costs £50, while an hour with a director will set you back an extra £250.