Conventionalisation of the new term ‘robo adviser’

QuietGrowth - Conventionalisation of the new term robo adviser

One popular term that has emerged since 2010 from the increasing adoption of automation in the financial world is ‘robo advisor’. The term is now synonymous with automated personalised investment advice and optional automated discretionary investment management.

The expansive use of this term in various fields reflects its widespread acceptance, although, interestingly, when it comes to investments, we don’t specify it as an “investment robo advisor.” It’s simply known as a “robo advisor.”

We must observe that every other type of automated advice doesn’t have the power to simply term itself a ‘robo adviser’. For example, automated insurance advice ends up getting termed as ‘insurance robo adviser’! Automated advice on credit cards as ‘credit card robo advisor’! However, when it comes to personalised financial advice, personalised investment advice and discretionary investment management, we don’t specify the service as an ‘investment robo adviser’ — it’s simply known as a ‘robo advisor’.

Go back 6 to 8 years, and many pioneers in the automated investment management space were not thrilled about their groundbreaking work being labelled ‘robo advice‘. It’s understandable, given that no robots work in their firms! However, the public and media often influence labels more than industry insiders — they embraced the term, and now, everyone, including the industry insiders, promotes the term ‘robo adviser’!

This occurrence is a testament to the increasing power of a new term as the term gets conventionalised over time.

Other terms

QuietGrowth has come up with a list of terms that commonly describe our robo advice service that includes discretionary investment management. Refer to our answer to a related question in FAQs: What are the terms that are used commonly to describe your service?

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