Digital financial whiz may help navigate the financial markets

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Robo Advisor is a computer based system that invests and keeps tabs on your money based on your goals. (KFSN)

Busy professional Meghan Womack, spends most of her day connected to a smartphone or a computer. So when she heard about robo investing, she opened an account and said going digital made financial sense.

"I end up, ya know, working long hours and managing investments was certainly something that was cumbersome with my time."

Robo Advisor is a computer based system that invests and keeps tabs on your money based on your goals. Financial startups and well-known firms are also getting in the digital portfolio game.

"What they do is they provide you with an efficient and typically low cost ways of investing your assets," said Ed Gjertsen, Financial Planning Association.

The industry's growing so much, one survey shows 11 leading digital advisors now manage $21-billion.

"Our customers come to us and they tell us about their goals and then based on those goals, which could be down payment on a house or I'm saving for retirement. We create portfolios for them and then manage their money in the most intelligent way over time to minimize taxes, minimize expenses, and optimize for the best returns," said Jon Stein, founder of Betterment.

Robo Advisor Betterment said its customers' range from 18 to 92-years-old.

But financial planning experts said the program is most attractive to younger and computer savvy investors already comfortable with doing their banking online. And while digital advisors are usually less expensive than a traditional financial planner, experts said there's nothing like the human touch when things get rocky or if you have complex questions.

"Typically, people's lives are much more than just their bag of money: legacy planning or estate planning, retirement advice. If you have risk needs analysis and things like that, the Robo Advisor typically won't be able to answer these questions for you," said Gjertsen.

Digital advisors are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. So before you log on and give money to an online firm check out its record and make sure it's a legitimate business-- some also offer "human help" and guidance.
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