Should a Twentysomething Use an Online Financial Adviser?

NEW YORK (MainStreet) —Could your financial adviser be erased along with your debt?

Not so long ago, not only was a financial adviser a highly respected and sought-after job but also those who had their own financial adviser were considered to be of a certain monetary ranking. How times have changed, and due to an accumulation of financial insecurity, high levels of unemployment and advancements in money management technology, it could be argued that brick-and-mortar financial advisers are slowly sliding into obsolescence.

And that can surely save you five grand at the ritzy 5th Avenue financial advisory—no matter the appealing prestige.

Still it is a sad but true fact that many people in their 20s and 30s are struggling with unemployment, low incomes and debt. Recent figures announced by the U.S. Department of Labor reveal unemployment remains at 22.8% for 20- to 24-years-olds and at 8.1% for 25- to 34-year-olds. Despite this high unemployment, the generation of American young professionals is becoming more financially prudent or at least trying to get a grip on their personal finance management. For instance, according to survey from Strategic Business Insight’s MacroMonitor, young people are cutting back on credit card debt with the number of Americans under the age of 35 owning a credit card falling from 63% in 2002 to 45% in 2010.

So what exactly is contributing to the snippet of optimism surfacing from a harsh economic climate? Advancements in technology means that with just a few clicks of a mouse and swipes of a touch screen an interactive world of information is at our fingertips.

The concept of the “virtual wealth manager” has certainly entered mainstream consciousness, and it seems that people in their 20s and 30s are lapping up this new culture of wealth management autonomy.

The Pocket Financial Planner app, for example, provides users with personal banking capabilities, information on trading stocks, and the latest currency exchange rates, turning their smartphone into an instant mobile financial adviser. With such multifaceted financial advice in our pockets, who is going to willingly hand over his hard-earned pennies to the old-school way of gaining financial advice?