World Finance Conference 2017: To Advise, or Not to Advise — How Robo-Advisors Evaluate the Risk Preferences of Private Investors

Photo by trolvag [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

From July 26th until 28th, the World Finance Conference will take place at Cagliari University in Sardinia, Italy. I am invited to present the findings of a joint work with Michael Tertilt, an alumnus of HSBA’s MBA program. I am really looking forward to meet and greet!


Robo-advisors promise efficient, rational, and transparent investment advisory. We analyze how robo-advisors ascertain their user’s risk tolerance and which equity exposure is derived from the individual risk profile. Our findings indicate significant differences in the quality of offered investment advice. On average, robo-advisors ask relatively few questions in their user’s risk profile assessment, and it is particularly surprising that some of the questions seem not to have any impact on the risk categorization. Moreover, the recommended equity exposure is relatively conservative.

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