AI has the potential for greater returns for both ourselves and our clients.
September 10, 2018 5 min read
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Rather than making it obsolete, artificial intelligence appears poised to revitalize the wealth management sector, ensuring that customers can rest easy knowing they are getting the benefit of fresh insights and streamlined processes. Far from taking the human element out of wealth management, it’ll let us personalize services even better, streamlining complex processes and making the business of handling clients’ wealth more effective and profitable for all.
There’s a reason a tech giant like IBM and its Watson AI are dipping their toes into wealth management — our field has a great deal of improvement at our fingertips, the kind that’ll lead to greater returns for both ourselves and our clients. While the full suite of services wealth managers offer will never be as simple as pushing a few buttons, those of us knee-deep in the complexities of wealth management work are about to get a valuable new tool. Here’s a look at just how AI will be changing the wealth management business in the coming years.
Consulting giant Deloitte named big data one of the biggest potential disruptors in wealth management, and it’s hard not to agree with that assessment. While we’ve always been able to draw on detailed information about our customers before, the massive amount of info we can now pull from is unprecedented and is sure to change wealth management for good. Thanks to AI’s enhanced data analysis capability, wealth managers will be able to design strategies that take a greater number of factors into account, informed by a deep dive into all the valuable data our software has been able to gather. Soon, catering plans to client’s every specification and pinpointing solutions with incredible accuracy will be a wholesale expectation for the job, not a nice bonus enjoyed only by the biggest firms.
Algorithms have already transformed the investment sphere, allowing investment firms and wealth managers to make huge numbers of transactions without lifting a finger. If these pre-programmed trades were the baby steps toward a smarter investment strategy, AI represents a full-on Usain Bolt sprint. Artificial intelligence-based investing gives money managers their own ultra-capable (and fast) research assistant, and as the technology evolves they’ll only get smarter. Analyzing past performances, adjusting portfolios on the fly, and presenting new streams of opportunity are just the beginning for AI investing strategies. When you’re in charge of a client’s future, you want to give them the best of your abilities. With AI, you’ll be doing that and more.
Tomorrow’s wealth manager will be able to pass off the most tedious and repetitive accounting tasks to AI. The time savings alone are enough to get excited about, but it’s the reliability of artificial intelligence in making these crucial calculations that’s the real game changer. Needle-in-a-haystack accounting errors way well become a thing of the past, something that should come as a major relief to the money management sector. Not every accounting mistake leads to unmitigated disaster, but it’s a great weight off your shoulders to know there’s a technology-based solution to simple carelessness and mistakes. While nobody’s perfect, AI will help us get ever closer to that ideal.
The limits of AI
While AI certainly represents a big step forward, it’s important to remember what it can’t yet do. Rest assured that smart machines won’t be completely eliminating the human element of wealth management (for now), but providing a powerful supplement to the work we already do. Jumping into AI is a great idea right now, but before putting all our eggs into this one basket it’s crucial to take note of the shortcomings of AI when it comes to the most important aspect of wealth management.
When people put their signature on a wealth management agreement, a great deal of trust goes along with it. Anyone with some experience in this sector knows how important the human element is, that people need to buy into you personally just as much as they’re buying into your investment and accounting strategies. While AI is a powerful piece of software, it’s still just that: lines of code in a computer. It won’t be able to build relationships the way a personable manager can, or summarize complicated concepts in a way that only comes from experience. The talented wealth manager of today isn’t in danger of being replaced by AI, only supplemented by it.
What this means for wealth managers of the near future is that tech-savvy will no longer be optional. The sooner we get used to this revolution, the faster we’ll be able to save time for ourselves and money for our clients. A complete understanding of what AI tools can and cannot do will be a necessary part of the job description. Essentially, we’ll be getting more time to focus on the big picture: And that means getting the best value for the people who entrust us with their lives’ earnings.
AI isn’t a magic box that we can put all our problems into and spit out money, but it’s a tool more powerful than any we’ve seen before. When we can wield this exciting new tech tool intelligently and responsibly, wealth managers of all stripes stand to get a lot more done, for themselves and for their clients. For anyone hoping to succeed in this fast-moving industry, that’s something to celebrate.