Financial advisors go by many names. Discover the one that suits your needs best.
Financial advisors are not some mythical creatures guarding the treasures of the rich and the famous. People in every financial situation can benefit from professional financial planning services.
Whether you need to manage your debt, develop a retirement saving plan, or diversify your portfolio, a financial advisor can help you set clear goals and plan how best to meet them.
However, there are many types of financial advisors, and finding the one that best suits your needs can be confusing.
Let’s examine the seven most popular categories of financial advisors and what they do.
1. Investment adviser
An investment adviser refers to an individual or company who makes investment recommendations to clients in exchange for fees. They owe a fiduciary duty to their clients and must put their client’s interests first.
2. Financial consultant
It is a generic term used in the financial industry. However, some financial consultants hold a professional designation called a chartered financial consultant, or ChFC. Chartered financial consultants have completed a comprehensive course consisting of financial education, examination, and practical experience. ChFCs have a fiduciary duty and must adhere to The American College’s code of ethics.
3. Certified financial planners (CFPs)
CFPs help clients create long-term wealth management plans while considering their financial lives. They help plan for retirement while keeping investment goals, insurance, and taxes in mind. CFPs work with individuals and often with specific clients running small businesses.
4. Wealth advisors
Wealth managers and advisors typically work with high-net-worth individuals. They offer comprehensive financial planning services and investment guidance encompassing retirement planning, insurance, and investment management. Besides, they also specialize in philanthropic, tax, and estate planning — areas of need among wealthy people with multiple assets.
Robo-advisors are low-cost digital investment management services. They use algorithms and data about their client’s financial goals to provide tailored suggestions. Most specialize in assisting clients in investing for their mid- and long-term goals, such as retirement, through diversified portfolios of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
6. Broker-dealers and brokers
They buy and sell securities, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, on behalf of their clients. They’re often associated with a brokerage firm and can make trades for individual and institutional investors.
Besides SEC registration, broker-dealers typically hold membership with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
7. Financial coach
Financial coaches are the most beginner-friendly financial professionals. They focus on the basics of financial literacy, such as saving money and reducing expenses.
The final word
You will encounter many financial advisors, so understanding your goals and financial needs is vital. The advisor is there to work for you, so you want to ensure they align with your goals and preferences.
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please contact us here.