Robo Advisors

September 2018 - December 2018


The prevalence of on-line retirement planning tools including so-called “Robo Advisors” has increased dramatically in recent years. Students explored questions such as: What is known about the availability and construction of publicly available Robo Advisors for participants to use in planning for a secure retirement, and what is the nature and quality of the advice provided? How are these on-line tools treated under law and regulation compared to human advisors and service providers? What legislative or regulatory actions, if any, can the congress and the administration take to ensure that these on-line tools provide quality, unconflicted retirement advice? Students undertook Internet searches, conducted interviews with academics and industry experts, identified/reviewed/critiqued existing studies of Robo Advisors, reviewed laws and regulatory frameworks, and developed a list of best practices and promising approaches displayed by the tools identified as “industry leading” or “widely accepted.”

Community partner

Government Accountability Office