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New robo service 'NZ's smartest financial adviser'

The financial adviser behind a new online KiwiSaver advice site says the platform is competition for traditional financial advice models.

Thursday, June 29th 2017, 6:00AM 5 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Ilumony has launched, billing itself as the country's smartest financial adviser.

It offers a free online service, which it says will help KiwiSaver members optimise their returns. Its algorithms analyse KiwiSaver investment options and combine them with personal data to present the best KiwiSaver solutions for individuals. It monitors KiwiSaver funds and ranks them.

“With scores of private KiwiSaver service providers to choose from and hundreds of available investment options, we help people sort through the noise and find the best option for them,” said chief executive and investment adviser Rachel Strevens.

She has previously worked at Macquarie Group, ANZ and Craigs Investment Partners.

“As a financial adviser of more than 10 years, it pains me to see that a large percentage of New Zealanders simply can’t access or afford quality investment advice,” Strevens said.

She said people with smaller amounts to invest were often squeezed out and could not access financial advice through the normal channels, or afford to pay for it if it was an option. As KiwiSaver balances built, more people were interested in making sure they made the right decisions about them, she said.

The platform offers class advice, so it can operate under the current rules. Strevens said Ilumony was working with the FMA to be able to offer a personalised service. At present, clients who want personalised advice are referred to Strevens and pay for the service.

The service is free to users via the online platform, with a mobile app live soon and developer-friendly API feeds. Strevens said there was the potential for other advisers to use the platform on their own sites.

Ilumony will soon expand its product range to include other investments, helping people build an investment portfolio and invest outside of KiwiSaver.

Strevens said it would manage funds that allowed thematic investments and made it possible for people to invest in big global stocks such as Facebook without a lot of money upfront.

“In some regards it is competition for financial advisers,” Strevens said. “A lot of financial advice firms realise the importance of roboadvice. It is competition but we are able to work with others potentially."

Tags: ANZ Craigs Investment Partners financial advisers FMA investment KiwiSaver roboadvice

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Comments from our readers

On 29 June 2017 at 8:55 am Barry Read said:
Interestingly the website doesn't mention class advice or personlised advice or disclosure being available from an adviser. If it is only Class Advice then it could be potentially misleading to state that we can help get the best option for you, as the way to get the best option is surely personlised advice? We shall see I guess.
On 29 June 2017 at 2:08 pm retired blogger said:
This is plain daft

there is no advice

just portfolio construction PC

why not call it what it is? ROBOPC

has anyone taken fear and greed into account ?

read Dalbar USA

DIY investors consistently get about 4% less than the market

Why ?

because they put more money when things are good - greed ( buying high)

and pull out when things are bad - fear (turning a paper loss into a real loss)

precisely the wrong way around

a lot of DIY investors in 5 to 10 years time are going to be complaining that ROBO didn’t work very well
On 29 June 2017 at 5:23 pm Pragmatic said:
Good luck to these guys... although it would be misleading to claim that the digital service is 'robo advice'. Possibly a more accurate description is 'financial technology', or 'direct platform'.
Again - hope it goes well, as the industry needs innovation.
On 29 June 2017 at 8:53 pm Murray Weatherston said:
Oh dear retired blogger
Does Donna know you have slipped your ankle bracelet and are off the reservation?
On 30 June 2017 at 9:19 am smitty said:
Financial Adviser of more than 10 years... Count back 10 and we are in the midst of the GFC or perhaps the initial machinations of one. Im all for tech making things easier for investors, but people need to realise that you can apply models to physics, but when it comes to money and the human attachment to it, it doesn't quite play ball. As for not being able to access information? Surely she is the younger generation, there is a wealth of information at one's finger tips for free. Just need the right search term - try kiwisaver rankings Perhaps what needed to be said, is that we help people wade through the wealth (pardon the pun) of information in a free manner. Makes me wonder how they will be paid though...

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