After finding some commercial success developing retail micro-investing app Raiz, industry entrepreneur George Lucas says his latest venture will re-invigorate a lethargic advice process.
Lucas, who is also the founder of investment manager Instreet, has teamed up with Steven Goh, developer of one of the online stockbroking pioneer Sanford Securities, to create Your Beautiful Life, an AI-powered tool that will automatically create a Statement of Advice from recording a client conversation.
Goh tells Professional Planner the company is not trying to do robo-advice or replace financial adviser and is instead only to be used as a service for advisers.
“They want to have a human being there – it’s 2023 and people still want to have a human relationship,” Goh says.
“This is about augmenting that relationship, making it economically viable for people to have deeply personal relationships with their adviser and get timely and personal advice. We’re not manufacturing $250 cookie cutter SOAs.”
Lucas adds there are three different AI programs working on the voice recordings to cross-check against other to maintain the highest level of accuracy possible. “This is an enterprise grade thing, not something on a phone,” he says.
Goh says the technology will take the client recording and develop a draft SOA “within minutes” that is 95 per cent accurate and then relying on the adviser to do final checks.
“We can operate and do all the data entry into Xplan or Astute Wheel or any other platform or system, getting away from all the frustrations that people have with legacy platforms,” Goh says.
Lucas adds the AI will also pick up what the adviser’s value proposition is so they will be able to maintain that during the automated process.
Expanding the market
Goh says there are a lot of people in the market who don’t get advice because they’re confused or fearful or think it’s too complex or expensive.
“We change the cost equation and the customer experience equation,” Goh says.
“This opens up the ability for planners and people in that industry to offer more accessible services to a larger population.”
The way the company sees it, most people want to have a relationship with an adviser the same way they do with a doctor, essentially a professional they can trust when they need a check-up.
“There’s a number of people that are self-directed and can control their own financial future,” Goh says. “They are in substance, the absolute minority of all investors.”
The company will operate in various international markets, but the data in each geographic market will be stored locally, with Australia’s data being hosted on an Amazon Web Services server in Sydney.
The company is currently in beta testing with a small selection of advisers, with a plan to launch by the end of the year. It’s also looking to close a first funding round in September.
Familiar yet unfamiliar
Your Beautiful Life is far from the only AI-influenced tech attempting to integrate itself into financial advice, with Dash Technologies utilising AI to create adviser avatars to display SOAs and paraplanner.ai aiming to simplify the support process.
But Lucas backs his experience in investment markets after the success of Raiz.
“During my tenure Raiz gathered 1.5 million people opening accounts in Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia,” Lucas says.
“Probably half a million people have used Raiz in Australia in one point in time. It’s now part of the establishment.”
Goh founded one of the first online stockbroking businesses, Sanford Securities, in 1995 which was sold to broking group IWL and then later acquired by the Commonwealth Bank’s CommSec. He then later played a role in the development of Bell Direct for Bell Potter Securities.
Despite the pedigree in financial services tech, the partnership was built off a foundation other shared interests. “We’re good drinking mates and we’ve seen John Wick 4 together,” Goh says, referring to the Hollywood action film starring Keanu Reeves.
Both became interested in the idea for Your Beautiful Life due to the general discontent with the slow, prescriptive advice process and both felt AI could change the delivery of financial advice.
“It’s too expensive and cumbersome, materials are often misunderstood,” Goh says.
“We think it’s now possible to deliver a very human experience in the planning experience. We can do everything in the planning experience with AI. It’s entirely possible that we can from a first meeting… be able to tell who on the call is the planner and the client.”