We wanted to provide an easily accessible financial advising assistant that people can use using their Amazon Echo through Alexa. Many people can not afford exclusive financial advisors. Also, a lot of people do not know about how to invest their money. We wanted to make it easy for everyone to have meaningful conversations about their finances in the comfort of their home.
What it does
Our Alexa skill has a conversation to get to know the user. It takes in the answers and analyzes their risk tolerance, time horizon and other financial factors that determine proper investments. After the conversation, our application gives the user advice on a portfolio, including asset allocation. It also sends an email with a more detailed analysis of their financial identity and also gives more resources about investment options the application recommends.
How we built it
We built this using Amazon Web Services. It uses a custom Amazon Alexa skill to connect to an AWS Lambda function. Our app is configured in the Lambda function code using a node.js backend.
Challenges we ran into
We ran into challenges in persisting the answers throughout the conversation. We found solutions how to store the users answer for the conversation and then delete the answers at the conclusion of the conversation. This protects the user's privacy and allows for a detailed conversation.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we all had never worked with Alexa or AWS Lambda functions. We knew it would be challenging to learn a variety of complex technologies and build a working application. We are proud at how much we learned about Alexa, Node.js and AWS Lambda functions.
What we learned
We learned about Alexa, Node.js and AWS Lambda functions.
What's next for Alexa Financial Advisor
The next version will allow for users to create accounts for more advanced features. We will also integrate with users' financial accounts to compare their investment profile with the current investment asset allocation. We will also allow for complex estate planning and banking functionality to be incorporated into the app. As our app has more conversations with the user, we will provide more customized financial advice to the user. The system will use the data to learn how to be a better financial advisor and provide the same level of support as a financial advisor.