This is Insulting to our (Artificial) Intelligence!


Ok, now we have seen it all.  Maybe.

Imagine if you will, it is again February 2009.  The market, perhaps the world, is in a freefall.  And you see an incoming call from your brokerage firm that you are relieved to receive, because you really need proactive advice and wise counsel.

What you hear on the other line is a voice from a cousin of Alexa, who says, “Do not worry dear human friend, I am calling on behalf of your advisor who is also terrified.  Our message is simple – ignore the news, turn off the computer and the TV, relax, and HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE!”

Really?  HODL?


A couple of weeks ago I read this article on and literally thought it was satire.  But no, this is actually from a speech by Morgan Stanley’s Andy Saperstein, speaking at the Deutsche Bank Global Financial Services conference last month.  This article gave the robot a name:  ‘Morgatron 2000’.  Clever, if not surreal.

Readers of the blog will know we have written quite a bit about the capacity, dare I say necessity, of technology to aid Advisors in providing more effective solutions and proactive advice to their clients.  However, nowhere have we suggested or implied the robots should be the interface with the client herself.  (See Rise of the Machines)

Yes, the concept of HODL communicated by Morgatron 2000 is indeed too much!  The AI engineers have truly lost their perspective.

The reactions on Twitter are priceless.









Regarding the concept of ‘just buy and hold on for dear life….’









I know more than one investor who panicked at just the wrong time during the last crisis, and whose portfolio is still recovering over ten years later.  What clients need are solutions ensconced in sound advice, and affirmed regularly by human interaction.

In order to do that, advisors need to embrace technology and solutions that will assist them in managing the very human emotions and bias stimulated by market volatility.  Most importantly, they need to structure their practice and their daily routines to turn away from the computer and face their clients (hat tip to my friend John Abbuhl at Advisors Trust).  They need to engage both investment and tech solutions that provide the efficacy of outcomes and information to personally communicate that HUMANS require.

Yes, the evolution of technology is both necessary and inevitable.  However, there is no way that Morgatron 2000 should be a proxy for your advisor because they are busy doing other things.  Satire or not, an advisor that is part of an organization that believes this is true should be looking for the door.

And so should their clients.


For more thoughts on ways to improve your practice and human interactions visit



Recommended reading:

Robo:   Existential Threat or Necessary Evolution?

Robots Are Coming to Consulting and Corporate Strategy –


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