Financial planning and ChatGPT: blue ocean or uncharted waters?

“Obviously, there were concerns. How large of a disruption would it be to industry? Would it in fact, replace our jobs as financial planners?” Dewdney says. “But the more we discussed it, the more we saw opportunities with embracing and utilizing the technology.”

Blue oceans and black boxes

Through AI-enabled technology, Dewdney says, financial planners can potentially do their work more efficiently, giving them more time to educate and work with clients. It also opens doors for clients to be more efficient when it comes to providing information.  

“The financial planning process can be complex and time-consuming, with some tasks being mundane, such as gathering data,” he says. “However, with the help of technology, financial planners can streamline certain aspects of the process, resulting in increased efficiency, a better experience for the client, and more productive time for the advisor.”   

ChatGPT might open up blue-ocean opportunities, but it also leads to uncharted waters. One risk comes from the lack of data transparency; users have little, if any idea on where the technology gets the information it bases its outputs on. Aside from potentially misleading consumers, some planners might take it at face value as an accurate, trustworthy source without doing their own due diligence.  

Even prior to the Fintellect Initiative, FP Canada has recognized that risk. In 2021, the FP Canada Standards Council introduced new rules requiring CFP and QAFP professionals using financial planning software to have a general understanding of the underlying methodologies and assumptions behind its recommendations. In addition, under the rules, material assumptions, as well as the rationale used in the planning process, must also be documented and clearly communicated to clients.  

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