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Examining The Differences: Financial Advisors vs Financial Planners

Seeking help in reaching your financial goals can put you on the track to success. You’ll encounter numerous experts as you search for the ideal professional to assist with your financial decisions, so learning how each type can benefit you is essential.

The terms financial advisor and financial planner are often used interchangeably, but the professions have different definitions. A financial advisor provides guidance on investments and other matters and can offer assistance with various decisions in the client’s life. 

A financial planner is responsible for helping a client develop a long-term, personalized plan. This plan can include saving for a home, preparing for retirement, and many other milestones you’ll encounter throughout your life.

A financial advisor might only help a client with a single transaction or investment, while a planner is typically around longer. Your financial advisor might also earn a commission by selling you a product, while a financial planner usually charges a flat or hourly fee.

The service you use ultimately depends on your current and long-term goals. This guide looks at financial advisor vs. financial planner differences and provides information on the best times to use each type of financial expert.

When to Hire a Financial Advisor

A vital part of your financial planner vs. advisor decision comes down to understanding when to hire each type of service provider. These professionals could have similar licenses but typically earn different certifications and take different roles in your financial future. A financial advisor is your best bet if you’re looking for the following:

Help With a Specific Decision

A financial advisor can help you complete a specific financial decision. This expert can assist as you make a significant investment, purchase a property, or open a business by providing the guidance you need to handle the process efficiently. 

Some advisors specialize in things like insurance, debt repayment, tax planning, estate planning, and investment management, so they can provide you with the advice you need without necessarily looking at your overall financial picture.

Occasional Guidance

Financial advisors can provide occasional guidance on economic subjects, too. You don’t necessarily have to hire an advisor as a one-off, as you can return whenever you need assistance with a financial decision that could impact your future. Those lacking the confidence to make individual financial decisions could seek a financial advisor.

Assistance Executing Your Financial Plan

Meeting with a financial advisor could help you execute the financial plan you’ve created. Your financial planner might assist as you develop this plan, but you might need additional guidance as you make individual decisions or use the investment tools available to you along the way. 

Understanding how a financial advisor can work with you can put you on the right track. You might also need the assistance of a financial planner to meet your long-term goals.

Financial Advisors vs Financial Planners guide

Seven Scenarios Where Hiring a Financial Planner Makes Sense

The next service to consider involves financial planning. Your financial advisor vs. financial planner decision will depend on the goals you want to accomplish. Seeking out a planner makes sense if you need assistance with the following:

1. Long-Term Planning

Financial planners look at the big picture and develop a long-term plan to help you reach your goals. They customize this plan based on what you want to accomplish and your income while factoring in variables you could encounter. The result is a roadmap for your future.

2. Understanding Your Finances

Many people don’t have a comprehensive view of their finances and how they will evolve over time. You won’t have your current income level forever, and various things could force you to alter your spending habits, but a financial planner can help you see the possibilities so you can best prepare for an uncertain future. 

3. Major Life Changes

Speaking with a financial planner is advisable if you’re going through a significant change in your life, like getting married, having children, or getting a divorce. Your planner can develop a plan that helps organize your finances for these changes, putting your mind at ease in the process.

4. Retirement

Your financial planner can help you prepare for retirement. The goal is to have enough saved from your working days to keep you going once you retire, so meeting with a financial planner and discussing how you wish to spend your last years can help you create the right plan to meet your needs.

5. Debt

Managing your debt becomes easier after meeting with a financial planner. These professionals can develop a budgeting and spending plan that allows you to reduce your debt, helping you see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

6. Saving or Budgeting

Saving up for a big-ticket item or budgeting to grow your savings account could involve meeting with a financial planner. These planners can help you determine where you can spend less and how these financial decisions can increase your available funds. 

7. Transferring Assets to Heirs

Figuring out how to best transfer your assets to your heirs as you age can be confusing. The goal is to have your family members pay as little tax as possible on the transfer, and a financial planner can assist you in making that a reality. 

There are multiple options available depending on your situation and when you wish to begin transferring these assets.

Understanding the services a financial planner provides can make your decision easier. You’ll also want to speak with any prospective planner beforehand for insight on how they’ll assist as you move toward your long-term financial goals.

Get the Financial Assistance You Need

Financial planning services put you on the road to success by creating economic goals and assisting as you accomplish them. They can also help you minimize debt and plan for retirement while reducing financial risk. 

Bogart Wealth offers financial planning assistance in Northern Virginia and Houston, Texas. Our team can create a personalized financial plan that aligns with your needs and continually monitor its performance to ensure you’re on the right track. Contact Bogart Wealth for more information on our financial planning services.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION:
Please remember that past performance is no guarantee of future results.  Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Bogart Wealth, LLC [“Bogart Wealth”]), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful.  Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions.  Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Bogart Wealth. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Bogart Wealth is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Bogart Wealth’s current written disclosure Brochure discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request or at www.bogartwealth.com
Please Note: Bogart Wealth does not make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, or relevance of any information prepared by any unaffiliated third party, whether linked to Bogart Wealth’s web site or blog or incorporated herein, and takes no responsibility for any such content. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. 
Please Remember: If you are a Bogart Wealth client, please contact Bogart Wealth, in writing, if there are any changes in your personal/financial situation or investment objectives for the purpose of reviewing/evaluating/revising our previous recommendations and/or services, or if you would like to impose, add, or to modify any reasonable restrictions to our investment advisory services.  Unless, and until, you notify us, in writing, to the contrary, we shall continue to provide services as we do currently.
Please Also Remember to advise us if you have not been receiving account statements (at least quarterly) from the account custodian.

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