Tags: Robots | Wall | Street | analysts

WSJ: Can Robots Take Over for Wall Street Stock Analysts?

By    |   Friday, 10 July 2015 08:35 AM

Those of you who think Wall Street stock analysts are nothing more than cheerleaders for the companies they follow may be pleased to learn that artificial intelligence may be developed to produce automated analysis.

Several artificial intelligence firms are working on products for the financial services industry, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"As artificial intelligence takes on ever more tasks, Wall Street is getting more comfortable putting it to use," writes Journal reporter Stephanie Yang. "Services launched in recent years are now gaining traction because the technology has become more sophisticated and banks are looking for ways to cut costs and increase efficiencies."

But the automated services are limited so far. Computers still have little capability to deal with the qualitative information that dictates whether analysts issue a buy or sell recommendation.

Still, "it’s a very hot debate about whether the financial analyst community is going to be decimated by algorithms," William Trout, a senior analyst at research and consulting firm Celent told the Journal. “Disruption, when it happens, happens very fast.”

Meanwhile, automated investing services are all the rage, especially with millennials. The way the services work is that you invest through their web sites. Your investment allocations are dictated by your answers to a few questions concerning your age, investment goals, risk tolerance and current wealth.

The firms then offer a group of exchange-traded funds that they will buy and manage for you. Fees generally run about 0.25 percent of your assets per year, and on top of that, the ETFs charge fees of about 0.1 to 0.25 percent, Bankrate.com reports.

Grant Easterbrook, a former analyst of automated investment services, cited four advantages of the services in an interview with Bankrate.
  • "First, they have modern, user-friendly web sites.
  • "Second, they have transparent pricing, fees and performance.
  • "Third, for the most part, they have no conflict of interest in the funds they use," as they don't have funds of their own.
  • "And finally, costs and minimum balances are lower than their traditional rivals."

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Those of you who think Wall Street stock analysts are nothing more than cheerleaders for the companies they follow may be pleased to learn that artificial intelligence may be developed to produce automated analysis. Several artificial intelligence firms are working on...
Robots, Wall, Street, analysts
336
2015-35-10
Friday, 10 July 2015 08:35 AM
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