No matter how dire some predictions are for small financial advisory firms, clients still prefer to trust humans rather than machines or software, which is likely to keep an important role for the human advisor.

This personal relationship, which is marked by trust in the advisor, differs from the relationship between a person and technology – though advisors will still need to rely on tech to advise their clients.

"Technology by itself cannot create trust," Robert C. Merton, a Nobel laureate in economics now teaching at MIT, recently told BenefitsPRO's sister publication, ThinkAdvisor. "The successful advisor must have the trust of their clients."

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