Robo-advice 

Company claims first AI advice launch

Company claims first AI advice launch

A company claiming to be the first in the world offering financial advice with artificial intelligence has launched.

Pefin was founded by former Goldman Sachs executive Ramya Joseph and has no minimum investment, charging $15 (£11) a month for financial advice.

The company, based in New York, charges 0.25 per cent with the first $5,000 (£3,700) managed for free.

Pefin’s artificial intelligence is capable of making 80-year financial projections and keeping up with between two and five million data points for each user, including changing rules, markets, and lives to provide real-time advice.

Ms Joseph said: "Pefin was born out of a recognition that something had to change in the way financial advice was being delivered to people.

"My Wall Street career helped millionaires and yet I saw my own parents and close friends of modest income, being sold investment products or services they didn’t need when seeking advice.

"Pefin was built to make sure anyone could access true fiduciary advice – from planning and saving to investing, in a way that only acts in their best interest."

An interactive chat helps clients plan for life events and its AI uses this information to craft a financial plan, showing customers if these are affordable.

It then provides advice on how they can save to achieve their goals, when they should repay debt, whether investing is appropriate and if it is, how they should invest.

Over time, Pefin learns from the user’s spending behavior and personal preferences and automatically adapts, updating the user’s financial plans and advice based on their actual behaviour.

Users of the service can link their financial information, such as their credit card and current account, debt and other investments, to the service.

Pefin does not insist customers invest through its platform but if if they do it tailors each portfolio to each customer.

It also offers investment advice and portfolio management from human advisers through a subsidiary called Pefin Advisors.

Its chief executive, former chief marketing officer at JP Morgan Catherine Flax, said: "Technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, and it was long overdue that it be applied to personal finance. Pefin plays a pivotal role in this shift – offering affordable, fiduciary advice that encompasses all areas of a user’s personal finances."

damian.fantato@ft.com

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