Is a financial planner and a financial advisor the same?

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recognizes more than 180 different professional titles within its ranks, each with its own set of educational and/or experience requirements. Financial advisors and financial planners are two of the more well-known types of FINRA professionals.

Financial planners and financial advisors are not the same, although there are some similarities in the services they provide. In essence, a financial planner is a more specific type of financial advisor.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key differences:

What are financial advisors?

A financial advisor is a professional who works with clients to optimize their money management abilities and habits. Some of their key services include:

  • Stock investment advice
  • Debt repayment advice
  • Insurance advice
  • Budgeting advice
  • Estate planning
  • Savings advice
  • Tax advice

Financial advisors help their clients to understand exactly what’s needed in order to achieve their financial goals for the future. They suggest and provide a broad range of financial services. This is a professional position that requires a bachelor’s degree to secure entry-level positions.

What are financial planners?

Like private wealth managers and financial counselors, financial planners are a subgroup of financial advisors. Financial planners specialize in creating customized, comprehensive plans to help their clients achieve long-term financial goals.

Financial planning services can include:

  • Retirement Income Strategies
  • Asset Protection Strategies
  • Long-Term Care Strategies
  • Tax-Efficient Strategies
  • IRA/401(k) Rollovers
  • Wealth Management
  • Life Insurance

Financial Advisor vs Financial Planner: The Bottom Line

You can think of financial advisors as all types of finance professionals who help their clients to manage their money and other assets more effectively. Financial planners offer more encompassing wealth management strategies for the long-term.

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