What Is a Robo-Advisor and How Does It Work?

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Financial advice can be obtained from online investment management firms using mathematical algorithms with little human involvement. This article will give you a brief idea of what robo-advisor investing is, along with all its other aspects. Moreover, it is important to mention that robo-advisor investing frequently depends on algo-trading strategies to efficiently execute and handle portfolios. This aspect makes it a convenient and economical solution for investors.

Robo-Advisor Meaning

A robo-advisor is an automated investment platform that manages investment portfolios and offers financial advice using algorithms and machine learning. Robo-advisors are a common option for investors searching for an automated solution to manage their finances because they are often affordable and accessible. They design individualised investment plans for their clients using a combination of surveys, artificial intelligence, and machine learning algorithms. A customised investment portfolio is made using the answers that investors provide to a series of questions about their financial objectives, risk tolerance, and investment preferences.

The Job of a Robo-Advisor

After the portfolio is constructed, the robo-advisor continuously watches the market and modifies it as necessary to keep it in line with the investor’s objectives and risk tolerance. This automated method of investing aims to reduce the danger of human error and emotional decision-making while maximising returns. Robo-advisors can be employed for both short-term investing strategies and long-term financial objectives, such as retirement planning. They have become more well-known in recent years as a result of their reasonable rates, user-friendly interfaces, and capacity to offer individualised investment advice to a wide spectrum of investors.

Perks of Robo-Advisor Investing

Using a robo-advisor for investment management has a number of advantages. Some of these are:

  • Robo-advisors are an affordable option for investors who want to keep the cost of their investments to a minimum because they often charge less than traditional financial advisors.
  • Robo-advisors offer an automated and user-friendly investment platform, removing the need for investors to devote their time to the time-consuming process of researching and selecting investments.
  • Robo-advisors develop customised investment plans for their clients by using algorithms and surveys to take into consideration their financial objectives, risk tolerance, and investment preferences.
  • Robo-advisors frequently invest in a diverse portfolio of assets, which spreads risk and reduces losses.
  • Investors may watch their investments and check on their progress with the help of robo-advisors, who provide them with immediate access to their accounts.
  • Robo-advisors are available to a wide spectrum of investors, independent of their prior investment knowledge or experience.
  • They make quick and effective investing recommendations using automation and machine learning, which can result in better returns and lower risk.
  • Robo-advisors provide long-term investors who want to increase their wealth with an easy, affordable, and individualised investment solution.

Drawbacks of Robo-Advisor Investing

While utilising robo-advisors for investment management has a number of advantages, there are also some potential disadvantages to take into account. These are:

  • Some investors seek personalised advice and human interaction, which robo-advisors do not offer because they are automated systems.
  • Robo-advisors may not be able to offer investors with sophisticated financial needs a wide range of investment options because of their limited flexibility.
  • Algorithmic errors are always a possibility, even if robo-advisors utilise advanced algorithms and machine learning to make investment decisions. These errors or miscalculations could have a negative influence on investment results.
  • Robo-advisors tend to rely too much on historical data when making investment decisions, which may not necessarily be a reliable indicator of future market conditions.
  • Like any investing plan, robo-advisors are susceptible to market declines and may incur losses in uncertain economic times. The investment decisions made by these platforms may be skewed because the algorithms used by robo-advisors are only as objective as the data fed into them.
  • They may not be appropriate for everyone, even though they provide investors with a number of advantages. Before selecting a robo-advisor or a regular financial advisor, investors should carefully assess their financial circumstances and investment objectives.

How Robo-Advisors Are Paid

Asset-based fees, account management fees, and transaction fees are frequently combined to fund robo-advisors. Here are a few typical ways robo-advisors are compensated:

  • Many robo-advisors base their fees primarily on the number of assets under management (AUM). This charge is normally made once a year and typically amounts to 0.25–0.50% of the platform’s total assets under management. The more assets an investor has under management, the higher the management fees.
  • Fees for account management: Some robo-advisors charge an additional cost, usually a set annual or monthly fee, for looking after an investor’s account. This fee, which is typically added to the asset-based fee, is intended to pay account management expenditures such as administrative fees and customer support.
  • Robo-advisors may charge transaction costs when an investor sells or buys stocks from their portfolio. These fees, which are often in addition to the asset-based fee and account management fee, might vary depending on the type of security and the magnitude of the transaction. For extra services like tax-loss harvesting, financial planning, or access to premium investment products, some robo-advisors may also charge a fee.

To make sure they understand the total costs involved with using the platform, investors should carefully analyse the fee structure of any robo-investing advisor they are considering.

Features of Robo-Advisors

Managing a Portfolio

Robo-advisors build ideal portfolios depending on the investors’ preferences. Usually, portfolios are built using a variation of the Modern Portfolio Theory, which emphasises the allocation of capital to companies with imperfectly positive correlations.

The weights assigned by robo-advisors to risky and risk-free assets are typically determined depending on the objectives and risk tolerance of the investors. By altering the weights of risky and risk-free assets, robo-advisors keep track of and rebalance the portfolio when economic conditions change.

Tax-Loss Harvesting

Selling shares at a loss in order to avoid paying capital gains tax is known as tax-loss harvesting, and it is often done towards the end of the tax year. Investors can save money on taxes by selling a security at a loss. In order to keep the portfolio allocated and benefit from a market upturn, it is crucial to invest in a comparable security at the same time. Robo-advisors automate the procedure so that users can easily take advantage of tax-loss harvesting.


In India, there are a tonne of robo-advisory companies. However, the current situation indicates that they are truly unable to resolve the users’ real-time problems. Over time, robo-advisors will unquestionably be successful in India. However, they genuinely require a distinct flavour, not a duplicate of US models, as the latter would not be successful in India due to several disparities in the economies and legal systems of the two nations. For the optimum fit, the model should be customised in accordance with the fundamental needs of investors.

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