CFP Board Survey: Investors Trust AI More Than Social Media, But Advice Still Needs Advisor Verification
New data from a survey of American consumers conducted by CFP Board reveals that 71% of investors have little to no level of trust in the financial planning advice received from social media versus 51% of investors who have little to no level of trust in the advice received from generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, including ChatGPT or Google Bard.
Despite the gap in investor distrust between financial planning advice from social media and advice from generative AI, the CFP Board Consumer Sentiment Survey — Trust, But Verify found that nearly 1 in 3 investors (31%) report feeling comfortable implementing financial planning advice from a generative AI-powered tool without verifying it with another source.
However, investors demonstrate more confidence in advice from both generative AI and social media after they’ve vetted that advice with a financial planner. Once financial planning advice from a generative AI tool has been verified by a financial planner, 52% of all investors are comfortable acting on that advice compared to 46% of investors who are comfortable acting on verified financial planning advice from social media.
“Over the last decade, unverified financial advice on platforms like TikTok and Instagram has surged,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “Investors must be cautious about advice from ‘finfluencers’ on these channels. The emergence of AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard has made verifying advice even more challenging. Against this backdrop, we believe that the holistic professional advice of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional is more important than ever.”
3 in 5 Gen X & Boomer Investors Are Very Satisfied Using Generative AI Tools for Advice Compared to Just 2 in 5 Millennial and Gen Z Investors
While one might assume that investors under age 45 would enjoy using AI tools for planning purposes, younger investors appear to be more wary than older investors about the financial advice they receive from generative AI — with 62% of investors 45 and over saying they were “very satisfied” with the experience of receiving financial planning advice from a generative AI tool, versus 38% of investors under 45.
When it comes to implementing that advice, investors of all ages are cautious. Only about 1 in 10 investors under age 45 (8%) said they would be very comfortable implementing advice solely from a generative AI tool, while 15% of older investors concurred.
Investors of all ages said they would be more comfortable using generative AI tools for advice if an advisor verifies the recommendations. In addition, when AI-generated recommendations are verified by a financial planner, the percentage of investors describing themselves as “very comfortable” nearly doubles to 21% (up from 12%) and the percentage of those saying they would be “very or somewhat comfortable” jumps to 52% (up from 31%).
Men More Hopeful Than Women About Long-term Impact of New Technologies
Men are more optimistic about the potential impact new technologies will have on the financial planning profession in the near term. Nearly one-third of men surveyed (31%) describe themselves as “hopeful” about the impact AI could have on financial planning, compared to 19% of women. Additionally, women are more likely to describe themselves as “skeptical” (37%) than men (29%).
However, both men and women report feeling more comfortable with the financial advice received from generative AI than from other new sources and agree that verification with an advisor is key. A majority of men (57%) and 47% of women say they would be at least “somewhat comfortable” implementing financial advice from a generative AI tool such as ChatGPT or Bard if verified by an advisor.
Both men and women also believe that generative AI — as it develops and matures — could be a helpful tool for financial advisors. More than half of respondents (52%) believe that generative AI tools and social media will supplement financial planning advice from advisors in the next three to five years.
“Social media and generative AI have promise as tools for sharing information, but they can never be a substitute for the expertise and client knowledge of a financial planner,” added Keller. “Verifying data with a reputable third-party source, such as a CFP® professional, is the best way for consumers to ensure that they stay on track to meet their financial goals.”
To find a CFP® professional that can help you achieve your financial goals, visit LetsMakeAPlan.org.
This survey was conducted on July 11, 2023, among a sample of 1,153 adults. Respondents filled out an online questionnaire, and data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, gender and region. Results from the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
CFP Board is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board consists of two affiliated organizations focused on advancing the financial planning profession for the public’s benefit. CFP Board of Standards sets and upholds standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification — widely recognized by the public, advisors and firms as the standard for financial planners — so that the public has access to the benefits of competent and ethical financial planning. CFP® certification is held by more than 97,000 people in the U.S. CFP Board Center for Financial Planning addresses diversity and workforce development challenges and conducts and publishes research that adds to the financial planning profession’s body of knowledge.
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