The biggest risk you face when choosing between a human and a robo-advisor

Key Points
  • There are four major service models to choose from when selecting a financial advisor, robo-advisor or a combination of both, according to wealth manager Ron Carson.
  • The service you select should reflect your investing behavior and could lift or sink your performance.
Human advisor or robo-advisor?

The choice you make for how you want to receive professional financial advice can make or break your portfolio.

Investors today have four main choices for how they want to receive financial advice, Ron Carson, founder and CEO of the Carson Group, said in an interview with

You can either go the traditional route and work with a human financial advisor or opt to work exclusively with a robo-advisor. Or you can select a bionic offering, which is a combination of both, or choose to work with a financial advisor on a retainer-fee basis.

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The decision you make should be based on your personal goals, needs and objectives, Carson said, and how you are most comfortable interacting with and receiving advice.

The direction you choose will have a big impact on your financial future.

"Your behavior is going to drive performance," Carson said.

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The biggest risk with investing is that you will do the wrong thing at the wrong time, Carson said. The financial advice model you choose should help steer you to make the correct choices.

Ultimately, investors probably want to be able to access all four models, he said.

"If you're not boxed in to one choice and you've got portability based on the value you're receiving, then I think you're going to make much better decisions and have a much better retirement and be more financially secure," Carson said.