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Robo-advisors and the financialization of lay investors.


ABSTRACT: The burgeoning financial technology scene in Singapore has seen the emergence of robo-advisors, which aim to disrupt traditional financial advisories by using algorithms to automate client advising and investment recommendations. Using an ecologies concept to explore how lay investors are articulated into global financial networks through robo advisors, this paper contributes to studies on the "financialization of everyday life". It argues that investors are rendered passive by the disciplinary tools of algorithms, contemporary finance theories and elements of robo-advisor platforms that feed into these sociotechnological assemblages. The state's role in embedding citizen investors in these human-machine relationships is considered. The fragmented landscape of free, nonprofessional online financial advice and the opaque qualities of investing algorithms make investor subject formation incomplete and uncertain, especially when markets are highly volatile. This paper explores how both financial inclusion and exclusion operate simultaneously in robo-advisors and argues that robo-advisors may weaken efforts to promote financial literacy and education.

SUBMITTER: Tan GKS 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7508018 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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