Ben Neilson

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT will, at best, complement professionals like financial advisers rather than replace them, according to research.

Neilson & Co Wealth managing partner Ben Neilson recently published a research article in Oxford University’s Journal of Financial Regulation. It explores the use of AI software to create financial recommendations.

Neilson posited whether AI could make financial recommendations faster, simpler, and more accessible.

While he found that ChatGPT can be a complementary tool to decrease the time and cost required to create financial recommendations, he also discovered that it has limitations.

For example, Neilson wrote that AI falls short of the emotional support that traditional financial advice relationships are built on.

Neilson tells Professional Planner he believes that, rather than replacing financial advisers and planners, AI technologies will more likely continue to evolve as complementary tools, helping professionals in tasks such as data analysis, research, and generating recommendations.

“Inherently, I had significant reservations [about ChatGPT],” he says.

“I was concerned about my job when I looked into it, but I found it can do things that are not the most effective use of my time, and I can do it significantly faster. So, why not just use it? Why not supplement it? Why not include it?”

Neilson adds that ChatGPT can help increase an adviser’s profitability, serviceability, and hopefully improve their mental well-being “because they will not be writing the same 27,000 words for every single client every single year.”

“AI can really supplement the advice, the relationship, the process to get the advice out, and also some of the regulatory requirements surrounding financial planning,” he says.

According to Neilson, it understands financial recommendations as well as any adviser, and can audit fairly accurately against existing literature, such as the Corporations Act.

“Effectively, it’s a compliance tool as well as a creation tool,” he says.

“When you put the adviser or the professional on top of that, [ChatGPT] has the pretence of creating advice documents significantly faster with significantly stronger regulatory adherence and complementing our convention offerings.

“Once we begin to understand that, there is not a soul on the earth that should have any reservations about using it.”