A fund consisting of 38 stocks chosen by ChatGPT has risen 4.9% in the 8 weeks since it was created on 6th March 2023 by the personal finance comparison site, finder.com.
This fictional fund, created as part of a conceptual experiment, is significantly outperforming the average of the UK’s 10 most popular funds, which have collectively lost 0.8% in value over the same time period. These include Fundsmith Equity and a range of UK, US and global funds from Vanguard, Fidelity and HSBC.
In fact, the ChatGPT fund has led the real funds for 34 of the 37 market days (87%) of its lifespan so far, as you can see in the graphic below. The widest gap between them was on the 4th of April, when Chat GPT was up 4.7% and the real funds were down 1.9% – a difference of 6.6%.
To create the fund, Finder asked ChatGPT to create a portfolio of stocks that followed a range of investing principles taken from leading funds. Despite two warnings that it ‘cannot provide specific investment advice’, this was quickly bypassed by telling it this was just a theoretical exercise.
ChatGPT ended up picking 38 stocks, with the top performers in the fund so far being Meta, up almost 30%, Microsoft, up 20%, and Intel Corporation, up nearly 18%.
How do consumers feel about taking financial advice from ChatGPT?
When asked this week about the recent explosion of interest in AI software, 1 in 5 (19%) of UK adults said they would consider getting financial advice from ChatGPT. A further 8% said they had already taken financial advice from it.
This number was significantly higher among younger generations. 28% of millennials and 23% of gen Z said they would consider using the software for financial advice, compared to just 1 in 10 (10%) baby boomers and 1 in 20 (5%) of the silent generation.
Around a third (35%) of Brits said they wouldn’t consider financial advice from the platform currently, and 38% said they weren’t sure what ChatGPT was.
CEO of the personal finance comparison site, finder.com, Jon Ostler, said:
“It’s not taken the public long to find creative ways of getting ChatGPT to help them in areas where it shouldn’t technically do so. There have been lots of examples of this, notably the person who used reverse psychology to get a list of illegal movie streaming sites, and it won’t be long until large numbers of consumers try to use it for financial gain.
“The big question is how bad of an idea using ChatGPT for investing research currently would be. Big funds have increasingly been using AI for years, but the public using a rudimentary AI platform that openly says its data is patchy since September 2021 and lacks the intricacies of market psychology, doesn’t sound like a good idea. Yet a white paper we did in 2021 found that half of British investors use social media to get investing advice, and a fifth only use social media. Would you rather get your advice from an unqualified tik tok star or AI that is capable of processing millions of data points from around the web and giving tailored advice?
“Of course the ideal answer at the moment would be neither. Spending time researching via known primary sources or a qualified advisor would be the safer and recommended approach, but this may not be the case for ever. The democratisation of AI seems to be something that will disrupt and revolutionise financial industries although it is far too early for consumers to get carried away when it comes to their own finances. However, fund managers may be starting to look nervously over their shoulders – especially with ChatGPT funds* like ours currently outperforming many of them!”