Financial Planner vs Financial Advisor

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF® | Reviewed by Editorial Team

Updated on January 04, 2023

What Is a Financial Planner? 

Financial planners are professionals who deal with your finances so that they will work for you.

Financial Planners understand the science behind it and will give recommendations depending on their expertise in dealing with financial matters.

They know how money works and they use their knowledge and expertise to create a plan that will help you reach your financial goals.

What Is an Advisor? 

An advisor is considered as someone who provides you with recommendations on how to deal with your financial matters.

On the other hand, a planner is someone who takes charge of your finances and makes it work for you. When hiring one of them, you must first distinguish which type you want to hire.

This will help you identify if they are credible enough to take on. You should also ask about their experience with your matter so that you can tell if they have the expertise to help you with your needs.

Similarities of a Financial Planner and Financial Advisor

There are some similarities between a financial planner and an advisor.

They both:

  • Help you to reach your goals when it comes to your finances
  • Come up with plans that will help you achieve your goals
  • Will take charge of your finance and manage it for the betterment of them for their clients

Difference Between Financial Planner and Advisor 

There are also some major differences between these two. 

  • A financial planner is someone who gives you the needed plan that will help you make your finances work for you, while an advisor is someone who provides recommendations on how to reach your financial goals. 
  • While a Financial Planner will take charge of your finances and will manage it, an Advisor will recommend on how to make your finances work for you based on their experience with the matter. 
  • A financial planner is someone who has knowledge about investments and other formalities of handling money. A Financial Advisor is an expert in making money work for you.
  • A financial planner is someone who takes charge of your finances and makes them work for you while an advisor is someone who gives recommendations on how to make them reach your goals. Both can help you, but it will depend on their expertise and what they specialize in.

How to Find a Financial Planner or Advisor That Is Best for You

When hiring one of these professionals, consider the following tips so that you can choose one that is of high quality and of good character.

Make sure that they specialize in the matter you need assistance for financial planning or investment advice Ask about their experience, how long they have been working as a planner or advisor and if they are members of any professional association.

Search online to see if their client had a good track record with them and if they are willing to provide you with references Ask them if they have any affiliation with any company that deals with investments.

If yes, ask for their reason why and how long they were members of the affiliate.

You can also look over this link to check on the available financial planners and advisor in your area:

When choosing one over the other, make sure that you look into your finances first. Look through your spending habits and compare it to your income.

You can then discuss this with your future planner or advisor and ask them to help you come up with a plan that will work for your needs. As long as you choose someone who has the expertise needed to help you with your financial situation, then rest assured that they will be able to assist you accordingly. 

Make sure that before signing any contract with them, that you ask a lot of questions in order to know how they work and if their services will indeed fit your needs.

Learn about the many types of financial advisors and the services they provide. More information can be found in this article: Understanding Financial Advisor Titles

Key Takeaways

Financial planners and advisors will help you if you know how to ask for it. You must first decide which of them is the best fit for your needs. If hiring a planner, make sure that they specialize in investments or money management.

If an advisor, then make sure that they have expertise with investment advice and managing finances. Once you have decided, then check online, check their reviews and see if they are qualified for this job.

Then proceed to ask them all the needed questions in order to get a good understanding of how their service will work.

Finally, before contracting with them, make sure that you read over everything carefully so that you will know you are signing something that can benefit you.

Before you sign with an advisor or planner, make sure they specialize in the area where you need assistance in. 

Make sure they have experience with this matter and when hiring make sure they are members of any professional organization like the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) for Financial Advisors or The Financial Planning Association (FPA) for Financial Planners.


Financial Planner vs Financial Advisor FAQs

What is a Financial Planner?

A financial planner is someone who deals with the management of your finances. They will discuss with you about your spending habits and how to make them reach your goals.

How does a Financial Planner help you?

A Financial Planner will review your finances and make a plan on how to make them profitable. They can also give you advice about investments.

What is an Advisor?

An Advisor is someone who gives recommendations in order to achieve a certain goal or objective. The Advisor may not be responsible for managing your money, but rather recommend what to do with it and how to get you where you need to go.

How does an Advisor help you?

An Advisor can help you by recommending a certain investment, watching your back and seeing that you don't get cheated or scammed. They may also give advice about how to make more money for yourself.

What is the best Financial Planner vs Advisor?

If you would like to be assisted with investments and how to make your money grow then a Financial Planner is best for you. If you need someone who can watch your back when it comes to investing and give advice about making more money, then an Advisor is best for you.

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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