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Macquarie launches automated advice service

Macquarie has introduced a new automated advice service to the market aimed at SMSF trustees and self-directed investors.

The offering, called Owners Advisory, was launched in March and is an internet-based facility designed predominantly to be a sounding board for individuals comfortable with managing their own investments.

“It’s for self-directed investors and SMSF trustees who want a guiding hand. We find some of the clients who are using it are using it as a guiding hand, while other ones are using it as a second opinion,” Macquarie banking and financial services group chief investment officer and founder of Owners Advisory John O’Connell told selfmanagedsuper. “It’s about providing individuals with advice alongside execution platforms that don’t give advice.”

O’Connell said customers were likely to use Owners Advisory as a second opinion on the investment decisions they made themselves or in conjunction with advice they might be currently receiving.

“It’s the only service in the market that customises advice to the individual’s unique situation as opposed to just providing loads and loads of information that may or may not be of interest,” he said.

“As long as you show us what you own, we will actually put ourselves into your shoes and then tell you what we would do if we were you.”

Under the standard offering, users are granted online access to the service at a cost of $45 a month, as well as additional information, including buy, sell and hold opinions, and tools that will also assist in making investment decisions.

However, an additional layer of service was also available, O’Connell revealed.

“The second layer involves conducting a requested custom review of the client’s portfolio for $55 whenever they want it done, and that produces a 20 or 30-page statement of advice detailing what we would do given the same set of circumstances and why we would do it,” he said.

Individuals would have to spend about one hour answering questions on the site in order for the service to generate an appropriate advice outcome, he pointed out.

After the system has received all of the relevant information, a statement of advice will be prepared within 60 seconds.

O’Connell stipulated Owners Advisory, unlike other robo-advice offerings, was consultative rather than directive, meaning the facility had no funds under management.

“We basically guide you as to what we would do if we owned your assets, had your circumstances, had your risk profile and the like, so as a result it is a far more engaged model.”

Macquarie was not only looking to engage with clients directly, but was also in discussions with planning practices to provide white-labelling arrangements for the service.

“In these situations it would be our engine providing the underlying advice and the financial planning practice’s staff making phone calls or conducting face-to-face discussions with clients,” he said.

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