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Financial Advisor vs. Financial Planner–is there a difference?

You’ve decided it’s time to seek professional help with your finances. But you ask yourself, what is the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner?  There isn’t really a distinction between one or the other.  Some firms have specific titles, such as Financial Advisor, but the real question doesn’t have to do with a specific title, the real question is what does this person do for you?

Years ago, a Financial Advisor just provided investment management. Investment management is only a piece of your financial picture.  The industry has since evolved to include your whole financial picture.  According to the CFP Board, financial planning involves looking at a client’s whole financial picture in order to help them reach their short and long term financial goals.  

What is included in the ‘whole financial picture?’  The short answer is anything to do with money, however, most people don’t consider insurance and estate planning when thinking about money. The idea is to utilize the resources you have in the most efficient way possible to attain your goals.  Not only do goals vary from person to person, but they also change over time.  That is why financial planning is not set in stone, it is interactive because you are dealing with lots of ever changing variables.  When things come up (because they will), a Financial Advisor helps with the decisions at that time that will best keep you on track to meet your ever changing goals.  

What’s Next?

If you are looking for a trusted partner to help you navigate financial decisions, we are here to help. I am a Fee-Only Advisor acting in a fiduciary capacity for all clients. This means there are no hidden fees or sales incentives that I receive for any recommendation that I make to clients. 

Schedule a meeting with us today to see how we can help you with your own financial journey. 


Financial Journey LLC is a registered investment advisor offering advisory services in the state of Virginia and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Information provided is for educational purposes only and not, in any way, to be considered investment or tax advice.

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