Written By: Lu Fan and Swarn Chatterjee
This study examines the roles of internal and external search characteristics and attitudinal factors in investors’
decisions to utilize robo-advisor-based platforms. Using the 2015 state-by-state National Financial Capability
Study and Investor Survey, this study finds that the need to free up time, higher risk tolerance, higher subjective
financial knowledge, and higher amounts of investable assets were positively associated with individual
investors’ adoption of robo-advisors. Additionally, the results from the interaction model indicates that
individuals under 65 with a higher risk tolerance and greater perceived investment knowledge were more likely to
use robo-advisors. Implications of the key findings for scholars, practitioners, and industry leaders are included.