Tim Offor and Barbara Sharp know exactly how human intelligence combined with algorithms can create a unique product.
The couple’s company, Pax Republic, brings together human facilitators and algorithm-based intelligence to create a unique way to solve problems using large groups of people.
So it’s perhaps not surprising that Tim and Barbara were interested in robo-advisor Six Park and its administrative partner when they began researching a new way to invest their self-managed super fund (SMSF).
“Barbara and I had started looking for a more accessible offering, and we were drawn to Six Park because the technology behind it can automate so much of the process and offer much greater transparency,” Tim said.
“We’d had a financial advisor to manage our SMSF for quite a while, but we realised over time that the advisor wasn’t adding any value and the process was old-fashioned. We wanted our super to work a bit harder and not pay so much in fees.”
Tim and Barbara, who have been self-employed for more than 20 years, opened an SMSF 10 years ago because they were accustomed to managing their own finances and wanted greater insight into their retirement investments.
“We wanted to be relatively hands-off and that just wasn’t possible with a traditional SMSF,” Barbara said. “We had to wade through reams of paperwork but the service was perfunctory and the fees were too high, and we had no insight into how our money was invested because we didn’t have any form of access to our own accounts.
“Six Park’s fees are lower and because the investment management service is online we can be much more engaged with our investments.”
Both Tim and Barbara trusted the combination of algorithm-based intelligence with a human overlay. The couple had met Six Park’s Investment Advisory Committee at the company’s launch and were impressed by the depth of experience the committee offered, but also trusted the technology behind the scenes.
“We understand how artificial intelligence and algorithms work because of our experience working with technology, and we both felt comfortable with Six Park’s more objective approach to investing,” Tim said.
“I compared the science behind stock picking and algorithmic picking and found that there was at worst no difference in performance. And our financial advisor admitted that when we asked him why we should stick with him and pay higher fees for no return – he just had no answers.”
The rollover process was simpler than Tim and Barbara had expected.
“Migrating our funds was surprisingly a pretty seamless process,” Tim said. “The team were very helpful when we needed human advice but the process was largely automatic. To be honest I was dreading the move over but it was pretty easy.”