Boost your financial returns using robo advice
COTTON farmer George Stacey grows crops for a living and he's also focused on watching his finances flourish.
A long way from the hustle and bustle of city life, the 24-year-old works on a 97,000 hectare farm in Goondiwindi, 300km southwest of Brisbane, and said he loves investing in companies all over the world "from my couch in remote western Queensland."
Following in his father's footsteps of investing, Mr Stacey said "ever since I was a young kid when the finance news would come I had a bit of an interest in it and my dad invested in a share portfolio".
"When I went out west and I started to make a decent income I had little bit of spare money and dad said rather than leave it lying in an account why not make that money work for you."
Keen to avoid leaving his cash idle in a bank account collecting dismal returns - some are as low as one per cent - instead he opted to invest his money with robo-adviser Six Park.
Robo-advice is financial advice that is delivered digitally using a computer, tablet or smartphone and uses algorithms and technology instead of a personalised financial adviser.
Based on your personal details including age, gender, income and financial goals it can give investors personalised or general advice while weighing up risk.
Mr Stacey is hoping to have amassed about $20,000 in the next couple of years to invest in a business opportunity or put towards a house deposit.
Six Park's director of business development, Ted Richards, said there were low costs associated with robo-investing. Six Park charges 0.5 per cent per annum on account balances between $10,000 and $199,999.
"There's diversification, you can spread your investing out over multiple assets,'' he said.
"It may appeal to people who are nervous or who don't have the experience and it can be set and forget for the client."
Financial advisers have come under the spotlight in the financial services Royal Commission for mischarging customers and in some cases charging them fees for no service.
Often Australians are sceptical of financial advisers because of the high costs that can be associated with engaging them.
Tribeca Financial's chief executive officer, Ryan Watson, said robo-advice was a great way for people to "self-educate" and "increase their level of financial literacy."
"Robo-advice is a very cost effective way for people to seek simple, no frills advice,'' he said.
"There is a segment of the population who simply won't seek face-to-face advice."