2021: an advice odyssey

Financial planners have used algorithms for ages. Financial planning software churns out advice documents, re-balancing algorithms keep asset mixes aligned to risk profiles and research software forms the basis of product recommendations.

Why can’t we let clients access the software directly and reduce costs?

Planning software is difficult to use and understand. Even financial planners use a paraplanner to operate their planning software. This is changing.

Alexa, Amazon’s voice-based assistant allows users to interact using voice, a “natural” way to communicate. Unlike other voice assistants like Siri and Cortana, Amazon has invited developers to create “skills” for Alexa and over 100,000 have accepted the invitation.

Finchat developed a voice-based skill offering a financial health check (retirement, budget, risk etc). It remembers every value from the last session and is easy to update. Just say “retirement”, “risk” etc. and the appropriate algorithm kicks in.

The logical progression is the skill will grow to provide voice-based research and advice on demand.

Amazon have sold over 100 million Alexa devices, the latest has a screen that swivels to follow you. You don’t need a device though – you can use your mobile phone.

To quote Hal (the Robot in the Space Odyssey movie) “I want to help you”.

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