Get expert advice on every topic you need as a small business owner, from the ideation stage to your eventual exit. Our articles, quick tips, infographics and how-to guides can offer entrepreneurs the most up-to-date information they need to flourish.

Subscribe to our blog

From Robo-Advisors to Wealth Managers: The Top 7 Different Types of Financial Advisors

Posted by Kanika Sinha

December 8, 2023

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.

Schedule a call today

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.

Talk to us about how Escalon’s essential business services can help your firm access financial expertise. 

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.

5. Robo-advisors

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.

Schedule a call today

Want to know more about finance and accounting? Since 2006, Escalon has helped thousands of startups get off the ground with our back-office solutions for accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, HR, payroll, insurance, and recruiting — and we can help yours, too. Talk to an expert today. 

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.


Kanika Sinha
Kanika Sinha

Kanika is an enthusiastic content writer who craves to push the boundaries and explore uncharted territories. With her exceptional writing skills and in-depth knowledge of business-to-business dynamics, she creates compelling narratives that help businesses achieve tangible ROI. When not hunched over the keyboard, you can find her sweating it out in the gym, or indulging in a marathon of adorable movies with her young son.

We provide you with essential business services so you can focus on growth.