Can the Religious Robo Advisor Gain a Faithful Following?
Friday, August 30, 2019
By Bernadette Berdychowski
Robo advisors have a new mantra for clients: Come, all ye faithful.
These digital wealth managers, facing heightened competition, are turning to niche markets they believe are under-served. The latest? Faith-based investing.
Faith-based investing is the “bedrock” of socially responsible investing, says Blaine Townsend, director of the Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Group at Bailard. SRI assets grew nationwide 38% from 2016 to total $12 trillion in 2018, but faith-based institutions account for less than 1% of that sum, according to a report from US SIF Foundation.
Despite that small percentage, robos are launching platforms to cater to their needs, perhaps because religious organizations comprise the most avid shareholder activists — 33% of investors who filed or co-filed shareholder resolutions were faith-based, according to the SIF report.
Photo courtesy of Sudipto Sarkar.