British Columbia Sun

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

What is a Robo-Advisor and how does it work?

A robo-advisor is a computer algorithm designed to automate investment advice and portfolio management. In essence, it’s a digital investment advisor that uses advanced algorithms to analyze your financial situation, risk tolerance, and investment goals to create a customized investment portfolio.

Robo-advisors are becoming increasingly popular among investors due to their low fees, ease of use, and accessibility. They offer a simple and cost-effective way to invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and other assets, without the need for a human financial advisor.

How Does a Robo-Advisor Work?

The first step in using a robo-advisor is to complete an online questionnaire that asks you about your investment goals, risk tolerance, and financial situation. The questionnaire is designed to assess your investment objectives and create a customized portfolio that aligns with your investment goals.

Based on the information provided, the robo-advisor algorithm selects a portfolio of investments that are diversified across asset classes and sectors. The portfolio is then rebalanced regularly to maintain its target asset allocation and risk profile.

Robo-advisors typically use low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to build a diversified portfolio. ETFs are similar to mutual funds, but they trade on an exchange like a stock, and their fees are generally lower than traditional mutual funds.

Once the portfolio is created, the robo-advisor monitors the investments and makes adjustments as necessary. For example, if a particular asset class is underperforming, the robo-advisor may increase or decrease the allocation to that asset class to maintain the desired level of diversification.

Benefits of Using a Robo-Advisor

One of the main benefits of using a robo-advisor is the low cost. Robo-advisors typically charge lower fees than human financial advisors, making them an affordable option for many investors.

In addition, robo-advisors are easy to use and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. You don’t need to have a lot of investment knowledge or experience to use a robo-advisor, and you can access your account and make changes at any time.

Robo-advisors also offer automated tax-loss harvesting, which is the process of selling losing investments to offset gains and reduce taxes. This can help investors save money on taxes and increase their after-tax returns.

Another benefit of using a robo-advisor is the diversification of investments. Robo-advisors create portfolios that are diversified across asset classes and sectors, which can help reduce risk and increase returns over the long term.

Finally, robo-advisors offer a disciplined investment approach that is not influenced by emotions or biases. The algorithm is designed to make investment decisions based on objective criteria, which can help investors avoid making irrational investment decisions.


Robo-advisors are an excellent option for investors who want a low-cost, easy-to-use, and diversified investment portfolio. They offer many benefits, including lower fees, tax-loss harvesting, and a disciplined investment approach. However, it’s essential to choose a reputable robo-advisor that aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance. As with any investment, there is no guarantee of returns, and it’s important to do your research and make informed investment decisions.

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