How ChatGPT can be a gamechanger in personal finance

Published: April 1, 2023 at 6:00 am

ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is less than four months old, but it has already taken the world by storm. Microsoft’s Bing has, for the first time, got something that Google hasn’t (at the time of writing). AI-based tech startups are popping up like mushroom after rain: There’s an AI for that.

It seems someone is discovering something brilliant or bizarre about ChatGPT every hour! Even since my brother-in-law introduced me to it soon after its launch on Nov 30, 2023, I have been obsessed with one thought: How do I leverage its power to benefit freefincal readers and freefincal (in that order)? How do I leverage it to build something useful?

As a first step, we are now close to releasing the freefincal ChatGPT bot trained with over 1000 selected freefincal articles (we have over 2500 published articles). More about this journey and our experiences in another article. I am pleased to know that Morgan Stanley has also done the same.

This is a screenshot of a freefincal bot in action (I am thrilled that this question and response is a lot more complex than the example from Morgan Stanley).

Active funds or passive funds question posed to the freefincal ChatGPT bot
Active funds or passive funds question posed to the freefincal ChatGPT bot.

We are currently assembling five AI bots to see which works the best. Here are links to two of them. You can ask it any question related to freefincal. Please do not ask for specific investment advice. The tool cannot handle it. Please send your feedback to freefincal [AT] gmail [DOT] com.

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    Now imagine the possibilities:

    1. Anyone can learn about any aspect of personal finance by interacting with the bot. They can be guided to the relevant source, or the bot can fully answer the question. Naturally,  there must be checks and safeguards to minimize incorrect answers and AI hallucinations. It is hard but eminently doable.
    2. A bot can be trained on Indian laws, the entire income tax act, SEBI, RBI, or PFRDA (NPS regulator) circulars (knowledgebase), and users can get simple answers free from legalese. At the time of writing, any person can do this, not just the central bank or regulators.
    3. Bots can drive calculators. Specifically codeless calculators. A set of text instructions should be enough to compute. Retirement planning or a full financial plan can be done with voice inputs. There could be (should be?) regulatory roadblocks for this, but how long can an idea whose time has come be held back? AI advisory can be significantly more nuanced than Robo advisory.
    4. Bots can file taxes. This was recently demonstrated in the GPT-4 Developer Livestream.
    5. Bots can draft wills (they can do so now, but it needs to be trained in Indian law, the same with taxes).
    6. Bots can be used to trade based on a clear set of rules without any human emotions.

    The possibilities are mind-boggling and limitless. Please comment on other personal finance venues where AI can make an impact.  What is most scary is all of the above are “trivial” actions for CHATGPT 4! It is capable of much more complex operations. I firmly believe fin-tech companies should immediately start adopting this but test it extensively before unleashing it on us. As they say, be there or be square!

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      About The Author

      Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over nine years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin, or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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