FinTech conference examines the future of investing

The Friend Center, site of the upcoming FinTech conference.

WHAT: FinTech Conference, "Wealth Management Systems for Individual Investors"

WHEN: April 26 and April 27

WHERE: Friend Center, Princeton University

MORE INFORMATION: Programs | Registration.

A revolution is under way in investing. New generations of "robo-advisors" are automating investment decisions across disparate classes of assets, from equities and bonds to commodities and real assets – not just for big companies but for individual investors. In an age when people increasingly have to manage their own retirement funding via 401(k)'s and other plans (as opposed to relying on traditional employer-run pensions), the role of financial advising will be critical, with or without human planners. How can individuals carry out these complicated plans and implement them, given the many stresses of modern life?

Robo-advisors have the potential to disrupt the financial services industry by reducing the role of human analysts and lowering costs. And as with all disruptive technology, there will be pros and downsides. A four-university rotating conference on FinTech brings together leading academic researchers and practitioners to take a critical look at this revolution. Do the systems really work? Are they a good value? What are the risks?

The conference, which is open to the public with advanced registration, will be hosted by Princeton University's Department of Operations and Financial Engineering, which has an overall focus on using math to make decisions under uncertainty. The conference is the first-ever collaboration of EDHEC-Risk Institute (France), and KAIST (Korea), Princeton (USA), and Tsinghua (China) Universities.

The first day of the conference, April 26, will focus on a critical examination of these emerging technologies. On the second day, April 27, three companies leading in the creation of robo-advisors will demonstrate their tools as part of a series of workshops and tutorials. In a related event on April 28, the Bendheim Center for Finance is sponsoring a broader look at FinTech featuring high-profile speakers Larry Summers, former U.S. treasury secretary, and Michael Evans, president of Alibaba.