Catherine Flax, CEO Pefin


If you are reading this, chances are you are part of the majority of the population who doesn’t work with a Financial Planner and gets no Financial Advice.  What are the reasons given for why people won’t use a human financial advisor?

  • I can’t afford one – typically a human advisor charges between $2000-$5000 per one time financial plan, and hundreds more to get it refreshed annually.
  • I don’t trust them – are they recommending what is best for me or what they make the most commissions on?
  •  They don’t know enough about me- meeting once or twice a year with limited insight into the details of my life means that the advice doesn’t really fit
  •  I feel judged- Maybe all of my financial decisions haven’t been that smart. Maybe I feel like I should be farther along than I am at this point in my life.  It feels weird to expose all of this to a virtual stranger
  • That guy seems like a used car salesman…enough said….

But why is it a good idea to get professional advice about your finances?

  • Are you an expert in how social security and Medicare work- and what the likely expenses you will incur in retirement will be?
  • Do you have all the money you need to achieve the things that matter most to you in your life?
  • Are you making the best use of your current assets- like your 401k benefit at work?
  • Do you know whether you should take that next dollar and save it, spend it, use it to pay down debt or put it in the market?
  • Are you totally relaxed about your current- and future- financial situation?
  • Do you understand how one big financial decision – like getting married or divorced, having a baby or buying a house, sending kids to college or retiring – all impact each other?

If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, you would definitely benefit from professional advice.  But if a human advisor is too expensive – or you have other reasons you wouldn’t want to use one- where can you get this advice?

As in so many areas of our lives, technology is transforming how we receive and synthesize information.  Why is AI Financial Advice the right answer?  What is AI Financial Advice?

Unfortunately “AI” is used as a buzzword these days as much as “Blockchain” or “Crypto” or many other phrases that are filled with hype but not a lot of understanding.  AI is a very large field of study, encompassing many different disciplines from computer science, statistics, operations research, linguistics and many other areas that come together that in some capacity mimic the “thinking” of a human being.  There are many different aspects of “AI” – generalized or deep learning, neural networks, reinforcement learning and more.

What matters in financial advice is that you are getting the right advice for you that is specifically tailored to your situation.  It needs to be holistic and fiduciary – meaning that you get the advice that is best for you.  Generalized AI – where a computer can be trained with millions of pictures of a cat to then recognize a cat, or where “someone like you may want to read a book like this” – is great if you want to have your social media recognize a cat or you are looking for a good book.   However, this type of AI is inherently inappropriate for something that needs to be exactly for YOU- not someone like you- as in medical advice or, of course, financial advice.

At Pefin we have focused on AI financial advice that is personalized – completely tailored to you and the exact details of your life- that can learn your spending patterns, your unique circumstances of debt, career, family, goals, constraints- all of it taken together- is essential.  It does exist, it is affordable – and it is transforming lives.  Pefin didn’t invent AI, but as financial experts,  we did recognize that it could be harnessed and developed specifically to help people on a global scale. We see a massive need, and we are filling it.