Business / Companies

High-tech bulls versus human bears

By Li Xiang (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-14 09:04

Stock market bears, watch out.

Chinese securities brokerage GF Securities Co Ltd has launched an online "robo stock picker" for its clients.

Called Beta New, it is now undergoing tests as part of the brokerage's smartphone app. Formal launch will be in September, according to the firm.

Beta New is the latest sign of how technology is transforming the traditional financial services sector in China, in tune with the trends in mature markets globally.

Automated tools like robo stock pickers offer users personalized recommendations on a basket of stocks. Such advice is based on investors' risk preference, investment style and desired rate of return. Utilizing big data technology, such services also offer cross-asset investment advice.

GF Securities' tool provides investment ideas but does not actually manage any assets on behalf of its clients.

In this sense, it is different from those offered by automated investment management firms such as Wealthfront of the US that gathers and manages assets through robo advisers.

Nonetheless, Beta New signals a not-so-distant future in China where automated financial advisers would provide wealth management services using algorithms rather than experts.

"Users' feedback has been positive as our stock investment strategy has outperformed the benchmark index as of Friday," said a press officer of GF Securities.

MyPrivateBanking Research forecast that by 2020, robo advisers will likely manage an estimated $255 billion in assets globally.

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