Ignition Wealth to launch robo-advice engine next week

Speaking to Money Management, Ignition Wealth's chief executive, Mark Fordree said the "low touch, low-cost, high-tech model" will help make quality advice easily accessible to the public by providing a robo-advice platform that can be viewed across smartphones, tablets and online channels.

"For the last six or seven years, our core technology business here at Ignition has been providing tools primarily to the industry funds," Fordree said.

"We [were] looking at the opportunity of bringing an automated advice engine into the Australian context and that's exactly what Ignition Wealth is."

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Ignition Wealth's mandate is to "transform the investment advice market" by providing a unified financial advice platform for risk profiling, asset allocation, trades and customer identification.

According to Fordree, almost three out of four Australians currently lack access to financial advice because they are deemed "uneconomic clients" by the industry.

"You can walk into a bank or a product manufacturer and they'll happily sell you their own product, but if you want to get independent, unbiased advice, you really need somewhere north of $250,000 to invest before a traditional adviser will have any interest in talking to you," he said.

"Rather than addressing the market gap, traditional advisers and banks continue to lift the hurdle, setting the minimum investment point at an ever rising level."

With Ignition Wealth signing a partnership agreement with Lonsec Research earlier this year, Fordree believes the new robo-advice platform will be an opportunity for both consumers and advisers to embrace technology and use self-service tools to significantly improve the efficiency of the sector as a whole.

"We will likely move rapidly to a norm where algorithms will take care of everyday investments, with customers grazing for human advice only for specific event triggered needs, such as tax or estate planning," Fordree said.

"Our new website will be [live] by the end of the month … before we launch formally. We don't want to let the fireworks off just yet [but] we're pretty much there."

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