Dave Edwards, president of Heron Wealth, a New York City-based registered investment advisory firm, is considered an expert in the field of robo-advisory services (he's speaking at the Investment Advisor Association in late July on the following topic: "Practical Application of Robo Technology").
He says its really about perception and optics right now. "Robo-platforms like Betterment have a $100 million annual marketing budget, which gives them massive exposure," Edwards says. "In reality, the robos gained maybe $53 million in assets over the last five years, compared to the trillions that advisor firms support, which is such a tiny portion of the overall market that they're essentially a rounding error."
Yet Edwards acknowledges that "people like easy" and robo-based advisory services provides the easiest on-boarding process around. "They don't have to deal with complicated forms or wait periods," he adds. "Still, robo-advisory technology is still in early adopter stage, so time will tell."