OwnersAdvisory: Macquarie joins the robo revolution

Macquarie’s new robo advice platform OwnersAdvisory aims to distinguish itself as professional-grade guidance on a self-service basis.

Australia’s burgeoning robo advice industry has a new player all set to shake up the sector.

Investment banking and financial services provider Macquarie has launched OwnersAdvisory, a new model for the wealth management industry to provide online portfolio advice to investors.

Like NAB Prosper, the product was designed to reach out to the more than 80 per cent of adult Australians who do not receive professional guidance on their finances.

Chief Investment Officer at Macquarie Wealth Management, John O’Connell said OwnersAdvisory will offer quality advice, market updates and insights for do-it-yourself and self-managed super fund (SMSF) investors.

“We want to encourage unadvised Australians to become more engaged in managing their finances and investments,” he said.

“Technology is offering investors new opportunities to manage their investment strategies online, and they want quality advice and market insights to guide their choices.

“This is an exciting opportunity for consumers. OwnersAdvisory combines technology with Macquarie’s vast market intelligence, insights and advisory expertise to inform and engage investors currently operating without traditional advice.”

What does OwnersAdvisory offer?

OwnersAdvisory by Macquarie reviews more than 30,000 investment products around the world to provide recommendations that align with individual investing styles, objectives and risk tolerance.

The strategies OwnersAdvisory provides are personalised according to an “investor profile” created by the user.

To set up this profile, the user can input details of their financial positions, current investments, timeline and likes/dislikes as an investor. Investors can also use the platform’s profiling tool to understand their appetite for risk. This investment profile can be updated as many times as desired, such as when their financial situation changes.

A key attraction is the fact that members won’t be required to close out existing positions and move funds into a new account to participate. For example, someone with money invested in shares through a CMC Online Share Trading Account can implement OwnersAdvisory advice whilst continuing to use CMC as their online broker.

OwnersAdvisory also sets users up with an easy to understand portfolio dashboard showing exactly how their investments are performing.

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How much does OwnersAdvisory cost?

OwnersAdvisory charges a monthly flat fee of $45 (with no lock-in contract) for general advice, regular market insights and a “portfolio health score.”

There’s also an option for members to request custom portfolio rebalancing advice on demand for $55 per statement. This advice covers all standard asset classes, including cash, fixed income, equities, commodities and alternatives.

You can try out demo here.

The robo advice sector in Australia

While robo advice has taken off in America, Australia has been a relatively slow starter with only a limited number of offerings at present. This is down to the US having a much larger population and a wider range of ETFs, which generates a stronger need for automated advice to help people make the right choices.

Most of the growth in Australia’s robo advice scene has been in “distribution” platforms – computer programs which conduct basic profiling to match investors up with a limited range of products. In general, these generate revenue through referrals to specific funds.

Macquarie’s OwnersAdvisory platform differentiates away from this by conducting personal profiling to provide general unbiased advice for a flat fee.

Being early days for the sector in Australia, we’re likely to see new players setting up robo products which follow this model.

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