When it comes to managing your money, you may seek guidance from professionals who are knowledgeable in financial planning and advising. While seeking out the assistance you need in regard to your financial future, you might be wondering what the exact difference is between a financial planner and a financial advisor. Both these professions undertake similar duties revolving around the financial dealings of their clients, but there are also intricate differences between the two and what services they provide.

The work they do will often overlap, as financial planners dabble in financial advising, but financial advisors have not deemed planners. Find out the main differences and similarities between financial planners and financial advisors and which one will best serve you for your financial future.

What do financial planners do?

Financial planners take a wide-scope view of their clients’ lives to help them meet their long-term financial goals. Financial planning involves an extensive process that includes meticulous budgeting, retirement planning, investing, and saving to prepare for a strong financial future. Financial planners may have their own practice where they help individual clients themselves, or they could work for a bank, a not-for-profit organization, or a wealth management firm.

Many seek help from a financial planner so they can have assistance in navigating the complexities of the economic landscape. Financial planners tend to receive offers of help because of their experienced background in all things relating to financial matters. Occupations that can include brokers, insurance agents, accountants, and financial planners will utilize their prior experiences to find the best solutions for their clients.


Financial planners may need credentials, academic requirements, and work experiences to claim the role. There are also various licences and certifications that might be required, including a Certified Financial Planner (CPP) or a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).

The duties of financial advisors

A financial advisor usually refers to anyone who helps their clients manage their funds. When you seek help from a financial advisor, they can undertake a number of tasks that can include managing investments, methodically creating a tax or estate plan, and buying or selling stocks and bonds.

Financial advisors may also offer their services to a range of clients with different income levels, from serving the needs of high-income climate need wealth management advice to clients that are in need of financial advice to help them get out of debt. A financial advisor could refer to anyone in an occupation that includes stockbrokers, money managers, bankers, and more.


The tasks financial planners and advisors take on often overlap, and they often have similar backgrounds and prior occupations. Advisors and planners have essentially the same goal, where they want to guide their individual clients to eventual financial prosperity through different means of planning and investing. These occupations can also both be attached to institutions like banks or financial firms. With paralleling backgrounds and involvement in the financial wellness of their clientele, financial planners and advisors are nearly one and the same.


While their similarities are undeniable, so are the differences between a financial advisor and a planner. A planner will help both individuals and organizations plan and meet their financial goals for the future. The potential economic duties a financial planner can undertake will include retirement planning, the down payment on a home, and a child’s future college fund by helping these organizations and individuals with long-term financial planning, where proper balances, expected economic returns, and regulated risks are in place.

A financial advisor, on the other hand, works on much broader terms. They assist with financial matters that aren’t just revolving around planning; they can include accounting services, real estate purchases, and banking services, among many other services.

Which one should I meet with?

Whether you obtain help from a financial advisor or planner all depends on your financial needs. You need to determine your needs that ultimately require professional help before you make the decision on what financial expert will best suit you. Once you figure out your financial situation, whether it be long-term planning or general accounting assistance, you can begin to research to find an advisor or planner near you with the proper accreditations. Find a financial advisor or planner that has experience with clients that directly emulate your own economic situation.

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