Should I use a Robo Advisor?

By Deka Wiebusch for the BBJ

In todays digital age it’s hard to know when it’s appropriate to do it yourself (DIY) or when it’s time to pay a professional. The invention of Robo Advisors and artificial intelligence for attorney’s or CPA’s has consumers questioning if they really need to pay for guidance and advice. The answer isn’t cut and dry but here is my interpretation of solid guidance specific to the subject for financial advice and investment management.

A Robo Advisor may be the solution for simple automated contributions to retirement or retail investing accounts when you are young and haven’t accumulated much wealth. A Robo Advisor might also be the right choice for autopilot investing, but only if you know what type of account is best for you to be contributing to, and you know you have a specific amount of money to invest annually. But before jumping in, I would make sure that you have done your due diligence! Check the cost and performance and know you are working with a credible custodian. Do not look at your account every day as it is not necessary and can even lead to you making regrettable emotional decisions, but you must look at it at least once a year, with your best rational thinking. Finally, autopilot contributions are key in this situation. All of us can fall victim to the traps of behavioral economics without even realizing the emotions tied to our money and this can steer us down the wrong path with our own account management.

But the real question is, “When is a Robo Advisor the wrong choice?” It’s important to remember that a Robo Advisor means little or no human supervision. With that said, you must know that you are making the best choices for your financial situation if you are using a Robo Advisor. If you have doubts or questions about your finances, investments, allocation, diversification, risk, account types, taxes, or estate planning, then it’s time to check in with a Financial Planner. Professional advice is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk and get a more complete picture of your personal situation.

Over the last 5 years my husband and I have had Estate and Tax planning done. Each time I walked away realizing that I was missing a piece of the puzzle and I needed the professional advice to help me see the big picture. Trying to save on advice might cost you more in the long run. As your wealth grows, your financial situation gets more complicated. The moment you ask yourself is there something I’ve missed…it’s time to see a Financial Advisor.

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Deka Wiebusch AIF® CRPC® is a financial advisor at Skyline Advisors, a locally owned and operated Registered Investment Advisor providing money management and financial planning services. Skyline Advisors is located at 405 32nd St., Ste 201 in Bellingham and also at

Deka can be reached at 360-671-1621 or at

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