Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative

Publication Date

7-2017

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Volume

5

Number

07

Document Type

Brief

Summary

Financial “robo advice”—an automated service that ranks or matches consumers to financial products—has gained significant attention in the investment industry and on the Hill, but there has not yet been a consensus on how to regulate these new services. Robo advisors often are on par with and can exceed the standards of human advices, but they don’t fit into the category of fiduciary, and therefore won’t be held to the same regulatory standard that humans advisors are. Nonetheless, they are subject to systemic risks and the potential for abuses that can hurt consumers. Professors Tom Baker and Benedict Dellaert offer a regulatory trajectory to follow as the technology of robo advisors continues to develop and expand.

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