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Financial Professional or Artificial Intelligence? FINRA Foundation Report Examines Which of These Consumers Trust More

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation) has released a new report, The machines are coming (with personal finance information). Do we trust them?

Despite the growing popularity of artificial intelligence (AI), very few consumers knowingly turn to AI for information on personal finances, according to the report.

The report and its findings are based on an experimental study involving more than 1,000 adults in the U.S. who were asked about the trustworthiness of hypothetical AI-generated financial information versus information provided by a financial professional. The study focused on four topics: homeownership, projected stock and bond performance, portfolio allocation, and savings and debt information.

Key findings include the following:

  • Few report currently relying on AI for financial advice: Over half of the respondents consulted with financial professionals (63 percent) and friends and family (56 percent) for information when making financial decisions, while only 5 percent indicated they used AI.
  • Homeownership information: Respondents broadly trusted information about homeownership regardless of the source. However, more respondents trusted the information when they were told a financial professional provided it, while more distrusted it when AI was cited as the source.
  • Projected stock and bond performance information: Overall, roughly one-third of the respondents trusted the information, whether the source was AI (34 percent) or a financial professional (33 percent). However, white men were more likely to trust AI compared to a financial professional. The same was true among those with a higher level of self-assessed financial knowledge.
  • Portfolio allocation information: More respondents trusted the information when coming from a financial professional (37 percent) than from AI (30 percent).
  • Savings and debt information: Respondents generally trusted the information whether it came from AI or a financial professional. However, a greater proportion of Black respondents trusted the information when it came from a financial professional (69 percent) compared to AI (48 percent).

Recent reports that may be of interest include:

Additional Resources About AI from FINRA:

About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation supports innovative research and educational projects that give underserved Americans the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout their lives. For more information about FINRA Foundation initiatives, visit