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article imageMorgan Stanley launches robo-advisor to attract young investors

By James Walker     Dec 8, 2017 in Technology
Morgan Stanley's announced a new "robo-advisor" service to help young investors get started with small portfolios. The fully automated system is accessed online and comes with several customisation options. It was built entirely inhouse by Morgan Stanley.
As the Computer Business Review reports, the robo-advisor is tailored specifically towards younger investors who have "less complex needs." It comes with a 0.35% advisory fee that's designed to reflect its aims of helping new investors manage their first portfolios.
Socially-responsible portfolios
The service requires a $5,000 starting investment, which Morgan Stanley believes will be accessible to young people interested in seriously investing. Users can follow the service's advice to invest in specially-designed portfolios, including options built around sustainability and emerging technology. The company hopes the seven themed portfolios will have enough appeal to attract investors by matching their interests.
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Morgan Stanley intends the service to diversify its client base by allowing it to reach young customers sooner. People who start to accumulate wealth through the robo-advisor will be able to transfer to the company's main advisory services.
The program will allow investors to start small, learning how to make decisions by engaging with socially responsible portfolios. As their needs become more complex, Morgan Stanley will be prepared to sell its more lucrative advice services. The strategy lets the company access a new demographic by using digital technology to upsell young clients to more expensive services.
Automated investment
Robo-advising is set to become much more common over the next few years, making it easier for new investors to get started. Increasing amounts of wealth will be overseen by digital agents, with Business Insider predicting the figure will reach $4.6 trillion by 2022. By launching its own service with a specific target audience, Morgan Stanley also positions itself to remain relevant as robo-advising becomes more prolific.
In the near-term, technological and human advisers are likely to coalesce to deliver more timely information to investors. An investor might retain traditional advice options for when they need to make major financial decisions or engage with large portfolios. Robo-advisers will allow investors to get real-time details using a smartphone, enabling more rapid responses to changes in their portfolio.
The introduction of digital assistance services could make investment more efficient and allow participants to create higher returns. This will eventually lead investors back to companies like Morgan Stanley, seeking advice on how to manage increasingly complex portfolios. Morgan Stanley's new robo-advisor is designed to step towards this scenario, where the use of digital tech brings about new opportunities for investors and financial providers.
More about Morgan stanley, roboadvisor, fintech, digital transformation, Investment
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