That was the chief finding of new research from Octopus Investments, part of the Octopus Group, which conducted a study exploring advisers’ views on the outlook for the UK’s financial advice market.
Three quarters (76%) of advisers polled said a hybrid financial advice model will be the future.
An even greater proportion (81%) also indicated they believe that the next generation of financial advisers will have to incorporate aspects of robo-advice into their offering.
This sentiment reflects advisers’ increasing awareness that robo-advice could become the way some people initially get financial advice, presenting an opportunity for advisers to show the benefits of advice and expand their client base in time.
Three quarters (74%) said they believe that accessing financial advice online will become a key channel for younger clients to seek financial advice in the future.
Advisers also cited other benefits with 44% expecting technology to help free up their time to better service clients, while a further 36% said it will encourage competition.
Just one in ten (13%) said robo-advice distracts from the core face to face advice proposition, 11% said it does not offer a tailored service and 7% said the risk profiling it offers is too imprecise to be useful.
Ruth Handcock , CEO of Octopus Investments, said: “As many advisers clearly recognise, technology will play an increasingly important role in the future of financial advice, and there are some obvious benefits for the industry.
“Yet for most people, a smart online interface with some risk profiling is not going to replace the value of a financial adviser.
“Our financial lives are deeply interwoven with our personal, professional, and family lives, which are rarely straightforward.
“When making big life changing decisions, we need someone who is able to listen, build trust, and empathise with our goals.
“Advisers know this better than anyone.
“The real opportunity lies in combining that human touch with smart technology.”
Jacqueline Lockie CFP™ Chartered FCSI, head of Financial Planning, CISI said: “It’s clear that investor habits are changing, as the next generation of adviser clients comes through.
“Millennials have different communication preferences with a tendency to rely more on technology and information online.
“However, research has found that young people are still big fans of human interaction and relationship-building, which is key to developing trust.
“This is why a hybrid model, where face to face advice - underpinned by smart technology, will be key in the future.”