Financial Advisors

A Healthy Marriage: Human Advisor Plus AI for Your Tech Stack

Human interaction deprivation really is a thing. Never before have people all over the world been subjected to various forms of isolation, including lack of human interaction or touch.

As the months of the global pandemic drag on, I’ve been thinking about that and about what life will look like after this forced experiment in deprivation.

For one, businesses the world over will need to recover and build resilience for the future, and many are looking to do so by using lessons learned during the pandemic. This approach will help future-proof them, at least to some degree, while also delivering innovation that drives business.

If nothing else, this pandemic “season” has highlighted the importance of people. Without the human ability to change and find new ways of working, many enterprises would have failed. I bet you know myriad examples of people pivoting and adapting well during this challenging time.

My financial advisor proposes…AI

The age of AI – artificial intelligence – fascinates me. To date, I’ve envisioned automation replacing people. But over these past months I’ve been considering where the balance between machines and humans should reside.

Technology is advancing at such a rapid rate but there are indeed times I want to deal with a person. I want to know that those who provide me with a service want to get to know me as an individual. I don’t want to be just captured data!

My financial advisor was recently telling me about a new focus his firm is taking in terms of delivering financial advice. He demonstrated a feature that helped him know what types of conversations to have with me during market volatility. These new features enable the firm’s tech stack to create an even more personalized experience for me as an investor-client.

If I opted in, it would require me to complete a quick questionnaire, the outcomes of which would give my advisor an in-depth connection beyond the screen. That is, insight to many aspects of my financial personality.

Behavioral tech stack evolution

Armed with insightful data, my advisor would have a window into my reactions to market volatility and he would be prompted, if need be, to connect with me to ensure I’m sticking to my life goals around wealth creation and not panicking and selling or rushing to buy more, more, more. It also would provide him with insight into how much guidance and support I needed from him, or not, how best to communicate with me, and more.

This coming together of AI and human interaction would go a long way toward providing me with a personalized service – without taking anything from the fast, automated experience we all now expect. In fact, it would enhance that.

My test run with this new approach demonstrated how efficiently technology can provide these insights, further enabling my advisor to deliver the unique service and service-delivery to which I am naturally inclined. In this way he could provide highly individualized service to every client.

And lest you think that is just an “extra” – a public relations or customer service gimmick – pause to realize that his advice and my receipt of his advice would literally be improved. That’s not just a client feeling better about their advisor relationship; that’s a client getting better advice, processing it to maximum benefit and realizing the results…right there in their portfolio.

People still matter!

Ultimately, there are many considerations about the impact of automation, not the least of which will be including our wish to interact with others (or not!). When tech stacks contain behavioral data – information that goes to the core of who I am, including how I wish to be interacted with – there can be a happy, healthy marriage between tech stacks and humans.

There also is significant data that the one-two punch of stellar human advice aided by behaviorally smart AI provides strong ROI. The advisor, firm, client and client’s accounts all benefit.

When financial advisors have access to my financial personality, my financial motivations, pressure points and bias, their approach and service can genuinely be tailored. So, no, AI is not supplanting humans. Instead, having AI as part of your tech stack supercharges the advisor and what he or she can provide clients.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Leon Morales

Leon Morales is Managing Director of DNA Behavior International, which pioneers behavioral finance insights for real results in real time, including an API solution for firms.

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