The Difference Between Financial Advisors and Financial Planners
We know that when it comes to choosing a person you trust your financial well-being and future with, you have a lot of options.
There are a multitude of investment professionals very much capable of assessing your current financial situation and providing direction on how to best move forward. One of the first questions we often get from new or perspective clients is “what makes you different from other financial advisors out there?” The quick answer here is that there’s a broad range of financial advisors, all with different specialties and certifications. We prefer to best clarify what sets our team apart by comparing the differences between financial advisors and financial planners.
The term financial advisor encompasses most types of professionals who help manage your finances. It can basically be viewed as the umbrella that all advisors fall under, including financial planners. So, in other words, a financial planner is one type of financial advisor. However, a financial advisor is not always a financial planner. Someone could market themselves as a financial advisor but might not employ the same strategies and techniques as a comprehensive financial planner. As financial planners, we have a fiduciary duty to do more than just manage your assets, i.e, buying or selling stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
We believe that asset management is a very important aspect of your complete financial profile, but not the only thing to be considered. As comprehensive planners we address risk, cash management, tax management and estate planning, among several other areas. Solely advising ones financial assets does not meet the standards of comprehensive financial planning.
Our firm likes to refer to our financial management pyramid chart to give a more visual example of the specialized areas we are able to assist with here at FSG. These services are based on the education and certifications that our advisors have completed. These certifications ensure that the financial planner you’ve chosen is capable of fully servicing your unique needs. Here at FSG all advisors are certified financial planners, or enrolled in the CFP® curriculum. Meaning that, they either have completed or are working towards completing the required education, work experience and final CFP® exam. While this isn’t required across the board at firms, it’s something we deemed necessary to be able to provide our clients with a full-service, comprehensive financial plan.
It also reiterates the fact that any advisor that works for us is able to successfully apply what they’ve learned in textbooks to real-life financial scenarios. Because, isn’t that what we’re here for? While the qualifications, work history, investing approach and even fee structure vary across financial advisors, one thing that should remain parallel across all investment professionals is their capability to give informed, transparent advice.
When you chose us as your financial planner, it was hopefully because you felt we were best qualified for you and your family’s financial needs. We focus on creating a strong financial plan for all of our clients, as well as developing a relationship of trust that allows us to be your partner throughout the many transitions in your life.
Lastly, as financial planners we believe that compatibility between the advisor and client is one of the most important factors when choosing an advisor, and we’re grateful that you chose us.