How AI allows advisors more “in real life" face-to-face time with investors

How AI allows advisors more “in real life" face-to-face time with investors

Melissa Banigan | November 20, 2018

Sure, chat-bots are efficient. They free us from tedious, repetitive work, and unlike us, they're always on call. Yet while there's no doubt that chat-bots and AI in general can potentially increase a company's bottom line, they're also disliked by clients.

Human interaction matters. Over half of consumers think companies have lost their human touch. A whopping 82 percent of consumers want more face time — in real life. Chat-bots—including robo-advisors, which are financial advisors that can provide advice or even investment management online without human assistance—can carry on "real" conversations. But even the ones with the best machine learning programs give accurate responses just 85 percent of the time.

Robo-advisors need to improve existing solutions, not replace them. This means that while they must be sophisticated to learn from each encounter with a customer in order to provide more robust experiences, they must also support human advisors in their work. In short, they need to handle all of the back-end work so that “real" advisors can meet more—not less—often with clients.

Despite bots and AI in general replacing humans, advisors are still a very real commodity for companies. AI can help a company capture a tremendous amount of Big Data from clients, and this information can be translated into sophisticated applications such as the ability to communicate through bots. But for now, clients still want bespoke service. Despite the tremendous advances of machine learning, they can't get it without human talent.

Human advisors recognize the importance of partnering with robo-advisors. In fact, according to recent survey conducted by Forbes Insights and Temenos, nearly 84 percent of advisors believe that AI can help to improve client experiences.

Companies in the financial planning marketplace agree. Automated programs can help handle asset allocation, portfolio rebalancing, and other money management functions for much less money than it costs to employ humans. Yet the best companies in the industry also understand that as robo-advisors aren't human enough to completely replace “real" human advisors, they must also offer one-on-one personalized experiences with advisors.

TD Ameritrade and all third parties mentioned are separate and unaffiliated companies, and are not responsible for each other’s policies or services.