Betterment expands its robo-advice with a human touch

 

The move is part of an industry trend combining old and new technology.

 

Robots might make investing easier, but even they need human advice.

U.S.-based robo giant Betterment is expanding a hybrid model of robo-advice that combines automated technology with financial advice from a licensed expert.

“Giving all customers the ability to connect with our experts through our app is a natural extension of this year’s announcement of access to CFP professionals and licensed experts, and meets the needs of a growing, increasingly diverse customer base that wants more flexibility,” said Alex Benke, vice president of financial advice and investing at Betterment.

Previously the company only offered human advice to its plus and premium customers, which gave them the option of calling a financial advisor. Now all users can get access to an advisor, regardless of how much they invest. Customers can send a question through the app and a licensed financial adviser will answer within a day. It’s part of a larger trend of hybrid investing, as some surveys show that investors still want to talk to someone in person about their investment options.

Betterment recently closed a Series E funding round of $70m, bringing the total that it has raised over the past few years to $300m. The firm has over 280,000 customers and has $9.7m in assets under management.

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