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.

5 Questions You Should Ask When Hiring a Financial Advisor

Finding the right Financial Advisor for the job is so important! You need someone who is trustworthy, competent, and affordable. 

Questions To Ask Yourself

Before you interview a financial advisor, you need to ask YOURSELF a few questions: 

  • What are you looking for in a financial advisor?
  • What services do you need?
  • What are you willing to pay for them?
  • How often do you want communication (frequent in-person, occasional call, or email)?

Knowing your goals and communication style will help you to quickly determine which financial advisor is the right one for you.

Questions To Ask a Financial Advisor

  1. Are You a Fiduciary?

You want your financial advisor to say yes! Fiduciaries are financial advisors who are required to:

  • Put the client’s interests first
  • Disclose important information, including their fees
  • Reveal any conflicts of interest
  1. How Do You Get Paid?

Financial advisors can make their money in several different ways:

  • Hourly
  • A fee based on a specific service
  • A percentage of the managed assets
  • A sales commission on investment products

To avoid any conflicts of interest, look for an advisor who is “fee-only.” 

  1. What Services Do You Provide?

Different advisors may only support you in certain financial areas, such as:

  • financial plans
  • managing assets
  • investment advice
  • retirement
  • insurance
  • tax planning

Before you hire a financial advisor, know what services are offered and if there are any extra costs for additional services. 

  1. What’s Your Philosophy on Investing?

A good financial advisor should fit your needs. You want someone whose investment philosophy matches yours and uses strategies that you understand. This will help you feel more secure through the ups and downs of the market. 

  1. Who Are Your Typical Clients?

You want to work with a financial advisor who has experience working with people in your situation. 

Conclusion

A good financial advisor should expect questions like these. They understand how important the relationship is between the advisor and the client and want a good fit for both parties which is why you should interview more than one. 

Your financial advisor is an important person in your life. Take your time to consider all the candidates and choose the one who’s best for you.

If you are looking for a trusted partner to help you navigate financial decisions, we are here to help. 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.