What Is the Difference Between a Financial Advisor and a Financial Planner?

 What Is the Difference Between a Financial Advisor and a Financial Planner?

There are a lot of different financial professionals who could potentially help investors make the most of their finances. But what kind of financial professional should you work with? Who can best help you meet your financial goals?

Once you know exactly what your own financial goals are, you can determine exactly what kind of professional can best help you meet those goals. Financial advisors and financial planners do have some overlap in their areas of expertise, but also have specific areas of finance that they focus on that are different from each other. Knowing what your goals are will help you choose between the two and make the right decision.

What Is a Financial Planner?

A financial planner is a financial professional who focuses on creating a program for meeting long-term financial goals. Financial planners can work with either individual investors or with companies. Some financial planners have specific areas of finance in which they specialize, such as taxes, investments, estate planning, or retirement planning.

What Is a Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor is someone who can help manage money. In exchange for a fee, a financial advisor can assist with a variety of financial tasks. Financial advisor is a more general term than financial planner. In fact, a financial planner is also a financial advisor. Stockbrokers, insurance agents, bankers, estate planners, and money managers are also considered types of financial advisors.


Typically, a financial advisor would focus more on markets and investments, while a financial planner would look more at the entire process of creating a plan for their clients. Some financial advisors do also offer financial planning services and may strike a balance between the financial plan and the investments.

How Do I Know If I Need a Financial Planner?

Anyone could benefit from the services of a financial planner. If you have specific financial goals in mind, whether they’re related to saving for a specific purchase like a car or a house, retirement, investment, or something else, a financial planner can help you make a plan to meet those goals. You can seek out a financial planner who specializes in the area in which your financial goals lie. If you’re wanting to save for early retirement, for example, a financial planner specializing in retirement planning can help you create a plan to meet that goal.

How Do I Know If I Need a Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor can help you with all manner of financial decisions. Depending on the financial advisor, this may also include creating a financial plan. A financial advisor can help you determine exactly what your financial goals are as well as advise on a plan to achieve them. They can also help you avoid making poor financial decisions in the event of a downturn in the markets or a recession that might see many people reacting emotionally rather than thinking rationally.

Do I Need a Financial Planner or a Financial Advisor?

Which one you need depends on your financial needs. A financial advisor will typically be able to offer more general financial services that often include financial planning. But if you have a specific goal in mind that you want help creating a plan for, then a financial planner might be a better choice.

Danny White