Cetera Aims to Gauge Investor Emotions With Facial Recognition

Firm’s Decipher tool uses cloud-based artificial intelligence to determine how investors feel about different real-life scenarios involving money.


Emotions often influence the decisions people make regarding spending, saving, investing and other financial matters. But on the adviser side, these emotions can be difficult to gauge. In response, Cetera Financial Group has launched Decipher, a facial-recognition tool aiming to decode clients’ behavioral patterns as well as their feelings toward financial concerns and goals.

Using this insight, the company says, advisers can deliver a more personalized recommendation of actions a client could take to achieve his financial goals.

The Decipher experience begins with the client or prospect watching a short, targeted video composed of several real-life scenarios. The solution’s facial recognition technology and cloud-based artificial intelligence measure the emotional response to the video, to provide actionable information on what the client feels, wants and needs. The data is delivered to the adviser as well as the client or prospect in separate reports.

Cetra notes that this software would be accessible via any computer or tablet device with a built-in camera. The tool also supports a best interest model, which Cetera is developing to help advisers  comply with the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule. The software can also help individuals involved with the financial planning and well-being of a loved one. 

“Our new facial recognition software solution represents a major step forward for the financial advice industry and supports one of the key objectives of the DOL fiduciary rule: assisting advisers to act in their clients’ best interests,” says CEO Robert Moore. “As experienced advisers know, client decisions about personal finances have always been significantly influenced by emotions the clients and their loved ones may not be fully aware of, and which are frequently left unsaid. Decipher will not only provide our advisers with a powerful level of insight into their clients’ needs, but will enable them to translate those insights into actionable steps that directly support the achievement of clients’ financial goals.”

Cetera says Decipher will be introduced through a pilot program conducted this summer, with the solution’s roll-out across the Cetera network anticipated to occur over the course of this year’s third and fourth quarters.

Decipher will add to Cetera’s Advice Architect Ecosystem of integrated platforms and tools following last month’s launch of technology-enabled investment solutions offering My Advice Architect.

“This technology is one of a series of new tools Cetera is rolling out to crystallize the intangible yet enormous value that our advisers and institutions provide to their clients every day,” says Adam Antoniades, president of Cetera Financial Group. “We’re passionate in our belief that the future of this industry is based on an advice-centric approach oriented around the goal of understanding—understanding clients, their needs and hopes, and how to effectively guide them toward the achievement of their objectives.”