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Could tech tools such as ChatGPT democratise investing?

AI & ML: South African-born and world-renowned investment guru Heloise Greeff. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn
South African-born and world-renowned investment guru Heloise Greeff. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn

South African-born mechatronics engineer Heloise Greeff is using AI and machine learning (ML) to democratise investing as the only women elite pro-popular investor on eToro. She believes AI’s potential for sophisticated analysis of financial patterns could level the playing field, allowing non-specialists to gain their own insights and access to investment opportunities.

Greeff explains, “Through an interactive chatbot like ChatGPT, the interface with AI is more welcoming for non-specialists. It allows individual investors to ask their own questions and gain their own insights instead of relying on existing outputs.

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“Many people have found the idea of investing quite intimidating because the field has traditionally been dominated by specialists and experts, and it hasn’t been a particularly welcoming place for ordinary people to get involved in as decision-makers.”

She uses ML as a decision support tool to gain additional inputs, applying various ML approaches in various aspects of her investment strategy. For example, natural language processing and deep learning help to analyse vast amounts of company reports, news, and social media streams to identify key sectors or companies that she should focus on.

Greeff also has bespoke ML algorithms that assist with predictive modelling to make informed decisions about entry and exit points. Greeff says, “ML allows me to cover the depth and breadth of analysis that would previously only be possible by a large and diverse team.”

According to Greeff, the AI market is expected to grow from $21.5 billion in 2018 to $190.6 billion by 2025, which is an annual growth rate of 38.1%. She believes that investing in AI/ML companies can provide diversification within a portfolio and reduce overall risk.

However, Greeff warns that there is quite a bit of risk in this sort of investment because one is dealing with novel or untested technology. In addition, regulation could affect the volatility of such investments, especially since it will probably only be introduced at a later stage, after investors have already made their decision to invest.

Furthermore, many companies that claim to be working on AI may not have a clear path to profitability, so investors need to ensure that they bet on the right horse.

Heloise Greeff, an eToro Popular Investor, and one of the most copied investors on the social trading platform. Photo: Supplied/Ventureburn

Greeff’s work is a significant example of how AI and ML can be harnessed to democratise investing. By breaking down traditional barriers to entry, such as specialist knowledge and expertise, she has shown how technology can empower individuals to make their own investment decisions.

AI-powered investing could open up new opportunities for people who may have previously been hesitant to invest their money. It has the potential to democratise access to investing and provide individuals with more control over their financial future. The emergence of generative AI, which can create novel content rather than simply analysing existing data, is the next step in the evolution of AI and is set to drive further innovation in the financial sector.

The democratisation of investing through AI-powered tools like ChatGPT is just one example of how technology can be harnessed to create a fairer and more equal society. By making investing more accessible, Greeff’s work is a significant step towards achieving this goal. As AI technology continues to develop, it is likely that more people will be able to access the benefits of investing, helping to create a more financially inclusive society.

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