During the crisis, traditional advisors (48%) were more likely to contact their client, the study said. That compares to 28% of robo-advisors. In that vein, robo-investors were more likely to receive proactive or aggressive communication such as whether to invest more or cash out. The traditional investor, the study showed, was more likely to be told to stay the course.

It should be noted that proactive communication was cited as the most important factor in building trust during the market crisis for both types of investors.

The difference in satisfaction, Clark noted, was not driven by the recommendations that were provided but by the difference in expectations of the investors. He explained that the robo-investor believes that performance is most important, followed by transparency around performance, whereas the traditional investor placed a higher priority on customer service.

“The traditional investor expects and wants the communication, and they were more punitive in terms of the satisfaction if they don’t get the communication they expect,” Clark said, adding that the robo-investor is quite content with a systematic email or communication through the app or whatever way they are able to communicate efficiently.

Other key findings in the study include:

  • Both traditional investors (82%) and robo-investors (94%) remain positive or have become more comfortable investing after their experience during the Covid-19 market crisis.
  • More robo-investors (66% versus 48%) would like to see their advisor suggest better ways to protect their investments.
  • Robo-investors (89% versus 79%) generally perceive the chances of another mass shutdown due to a second wave of the coronavirus as more likely than traditional investors.
  • Robo-investors (89% versus 81%) are more likely to believe there will be a second market crash before the end of 2020.
  • Traditional investors (56%) and robo-investors (45%) are more willing to earn less on their investments in order to guarantee against losses.
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