Being human is still important for giving advice about money.
These days, we are bombarded will brand new ways to invest your money. There’s Acorns, Stockspot, BetterWealth and Robinhood — all robo-advisers who’ve built great businesses automating where you put your money. There’s Pocketbook, Mint and MoneyBrilliant who’ve built interesting dashboards that give you a view of how much you’re spending, when and on what.
Yet there is something missing. The depth of human experience, and the empathy that comes with that experience, cannot be replaced by a machine or an algorithm (at least none that exist today). A lot of people think money is this cold and lifeless thing that sits in your pocket if you’re lucky but more often than not slips as fast out of your right hand as quickly as you’re receiving it in your left.
But, really, we use money to express ourselves an awful lot don’t we? We express our desire we a roof over our heads by buying a home. We spend unspeakable amounts on weddings to express our love and commitment to another person. We buy plane tickets to far off lands to express our yearning for adventure.
These are all very emotional decisions. They are financial in practise but emotional by nature. The money question is an extension of a question we ask ourselves very regularly: what do I want to do next with my life?
While robo-advice can be efficient when it comes to investing small amounts of money quickly, it cannot replace the emotional understanding of another human being. So when it comes to questions about money, ask another person first. They will get where you’re coming from.