Personal digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are getting involved in many aspects of our lives. From controlling our diaries and providing entertainment, to ordering groceries, all we have to do is issue a simple command. But would you trust Alexa with your money?
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are having an impact on many industries and the financial services sector is no exception. So it might not be too long before you can ask Alexa to pick a basket of stocks to provide income or help you plan to pay off your mortgage.
Fast access to market data was once the preserve of back office systems for IFAs, but thanks to the internet it’s now available to everyone. You can access up to date prices and historical trends as you need them to help you plan your investment decisions. Of course, if you can do this so can Alexa, so there’s no reason why she can’t help your decision making or offer recommendations.
The same thing applies to the detail of your daily spending. As we increasingly pay for things with our phones, that data can go straight into a budgeting system and be made available across your other devices. There’s no reason why this can’t be integrated with your bank and credit card information too, especially as the new Open Banking initiative rolls out.
Of course, back office systems for IFAs are available through Intelliflo and they do a great job with financial data. But often financial decisions are made based on a combination of other factors too. These can include job security, family circumstances such as marriages and deaths and more.
Currently, financial software is blind to all this, but a true artificial intelligence system will be able to take account of a whole range of other factors. This means investment decisions can be taken in the light of retirement planning, paying tuition fees, career prospects and more. It can also look at wider geopolitical factors such as legislative change, taxation regimes, climate change and more.
Financial planning in future will need to be open to all of these things. Cross-referencing of data is here to stay and is becoming easier for everyone to access. Unless you’re prepared to become a digital hermit, it’s going to affect you.