The Robots Will Handle Your Finances Now


(Bloomberg Opinion) — Sometime over the next few decades, financial advice will be dispensed by machines, working in tandem with advisers and their clients. So says Ron Carson, founder and CEO of Carson Group, which serves financial advisers and investors through its various businesses. He believes that artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning will have a major impact on the advice industry. Carson manages more than $12 billion for clients.

Another trend to watch? Carson believes the fee-only fiduciary side of asset management is accelerating over the old commission-based broker model. Conflict-free advice is the direction the industry is heading, he says.

Carson traces his career back to 1983, when he first began working with investors from his dorm room at the University of Nebraska. Now, as leader of the entities under the Carson Group umbrella, he oversees a range of services, from coaching advisers to turnkey asset management program business, including technology, trading and compliance for the small independent adviser. The Carson Group also assists in succession planning for small Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms.

Women and people of color strongly underrepresented in the finance industry, and Carson says he’s been reaching out to both groups. There are also too few young people working in asset management, which he sees as creating a unique opportunity. “There are more people over the age of 80 in our profession than there are under the age of 30,” Carson says.

His favorite books are here; A transcript of our conversation is available here.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras, on iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Next week, we have a special Fourth of July episode: We speak with Robin King, chief executive officer of the Navy SEAL Foundation, a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization that provides critical support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and its families.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”

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