Financial Advisors vs. Financial Planners: Their Key Distinctions

Financial Advisors vs. Financial Planners: Their Key Distinctions

Financial experts come in a wide variety, ranging from accountants and insurance agents to brokers, financial advisors, and financial planners. Since a financial planner is a particular financial advisor, the phrase is usually used interchangeably. Financial planners may help you with retirement, investments, tax obligations, estate planning, and more.

Because of the position’s complexity, many people only use the term to describe those who have obtained specific qualifications like the CFP or Chartered Financial Planner. A financial advisor is a financial planner; however, not every financial advisor certifies as a planner.

What is a financial advisor?

A specialist who assists you in handling your finances is a financial advisor. They might create a thorough estate and tax plan, acquire or sell equities, or help with investment management. Chartered financial advisors, especially independent ones, frequently concentrate on a specific issue. Nevertheless, they take a restricted view of the issue and only offer advice concerning the things you have asked for.

Financial advisor’s scope of work:

  • a suggestion on just how much cash to save
  • recommending investments
  • providing tax assistance
  • financial advice in Surrey
  • purchasing and selling stocks on a client’s behalf

What is a financial planner?

A financial planner is a professional who approaches their client’s money more thoroughly. They’ll assist with creating a strategy for retirement planning, saving money, and investing. In addition to helping clients reach their financial objectives, the task may entail eventually taking care of investment portfolios. While many financial planners help one-on-one customers in their practices, they may also work for banks or wealth management companies.

Key Differences

A financial advisor is a person who deals with planning as well as other aspects of money management or financial products, which is a more general phrase. They could offer financial services like tax accountants in Surrey. They may also provide life insurance, real estate, or accounting services and short-term trade facilitation.

A financial planner depends on strategic portfolio appropriation for investments with relatively lengthy time horizons. CFPs are held to a high standard, but the term “financial advisor” can apply to a wide variety of professionals who may or may not be held to the same standards.

Which one fits you best?

  • In some circumstances, both financial advisors and planners might be beneficial. Regardless of who you choose to work with on your finances, be sure to follow some simple guidelines to safeguard your interests and optimize your resources:
  • Request recommendations from friends and family, but also do your impartial assessment by speaking with them and asking plenty of questions.
  • Before hiring someone, verify their credentials, background, and whether they have ever been the subject of complaints.
  • Request a detailed explanation of their compensation from them, including how you will pay them and whether they will receive any other compensation for their work for you.
  • If you intend to use them to make investments, find out if they have the necessary authorization to offer you the investment before checking their claims.


Both financial advisors and financial planners assist clients with financial matters. However, “financial planner” typically pertains to a Chartered Financial Planner. Finding the correct financial expert will be vital when you need assistance with a specific financial concern.

A CFP will be a better choice if you have a more serious problem or want a professional who will manage your finances more actively. A Chartered Financial Planner is someone who understands financial planning and counseling. This certification defines worldwide standards for financial management.