The potential for GPT in client communication

Note: The majority of this article was written using ChatGPT, with minor edits for clarity.

GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) is a language generation model trained on large amounts of text data to generate new text that is similar to the data it was trained on. The idea behind GPT is that it can learn patterns in language and use that knowledge to generate new text that is coherent and grammatically correct. GPT has been trained on a massive corpus of text, including books, articles, and websites, which enables it to generate a wide range of text in different styles and formats.

ChatGPT is a specific variant of GPT that is designed and trained specifically to be used in chatbot development. It is fine-tuned on conversational data and can generate natural, humanlike text.

Evaluating ChatGPT for client communication potential

The following was written by ChatGPT when we entered the prompt, “Write an email from a financial advisor to a client explaining a 15% loss in the client's investment portfolio value.”

Subject: Update on your investment portfolio

Dear [Client],

I wanted to reach out to you regarding the current performance of your investment portfolio. Unfortunately, over the past few weeks, the market has experienced some volatility which has led to a decline in the value of your portfolio. I am writing to inform you that as of [date], the value of your portfolio has decreased by 15%.

Please understand that market fluctuations and downturns are a normal part of the investment process, and it is important to remember that the value of your portfolio is tied to the overall performance of the market. While this may be concerning, it is important to take a long-term perspective and to remember that the market has always recovered from past downturns.

I want to assure you that your portfolio is diversified across different asset classes and sectors, which can help mitigate some of the risk associated with a market downturn. I would like to schedule a call with you to review your portfolio and discuss any potential adjustments that may be necessary in order to help minimize the impact of the current market conditions.

I want to remind you that I am here to help and advise you through any market fluctuations, and that I will be monitoring your portfolio closely to ensure that your investments remain aligned with your goals and risk tolerance.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and I'll be happy to discuss them with you.

Best regards,

[Your Name]


Analyzing ChatGPT’s results using VT Writer, a language evaluation tool we use at Putnam, revealed that the results were overly reliant on passive voice, and the writing was at a ninth-grade level.

MS Word gave the ChatGPT-generated text a better score, considering it to be at an eleventh-grade level but with a Flesch Reading Ease score of only 50 (out of 100).

When we asked ChatGPT how the technology could benefit advisors, it told us:

Overall, GPT can be a valuable tool for financial advisors looking to improve their communications with clients and provide more personalized, efficient, and accurate service. Through using GPT-powered emails, reports, newsletters, and social media content, financial advisors can save time, increase productivity, and offer better service to their clients.

During the initial research preview, ChatGPT is free to use. According to an FAQ from the software’s developer, OpenAI, “ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, and it can occasionally produce incorrect answers. It has limited knowledge of world and events after 2021 and may also occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content.” So, relying on ChatGPT to provide content around current market conditions is not an option.

Our take? The technology is fascinating, and frightening. Results are delivered in seconds; the information, while wooden in tone, is generally accurate; and we have not seen any “surprises” in multiple tests. We see potential in using GPT to create email templates, outlines for longer articles, or as a way to overcome writer’s block (or writer’s fatigue) when presented with a new communication project.

As ChatGPT told us:

Overall, the best way for financial advisors to use ChatGPT is to combine it with their expertise and professional judgement, to provide their clients with the most accurate and relevant information, while also adhering to the industry regulations.

Good robot!