Is There A Difference Between A Financial Advisor And A Financial Planner?

Even though they are sometimes used interchangeably, financial advisors and financial planners are not the same thing. For those looking to hire help with their finances, knowing the difference between the two is essential.

When it comes to helping people with their money and investments, the phrase “financial advisor” covers a wide range of service providers. This category comprises numerous professionals, such as investment advisors, wealth managers, and insurance agents, who focus on specific parts of financial management.

Instead, financial planners are a subset of financial advisors who take a more holistic approach to their client’s financial health. Budgeting, retirement, tax, and estate planning are just a few of the many facets of financial life that financial planners help their clients navigate as they assist them in developing long-term financial objectives and actionable plans to attain those goals.

Financial planners and advisers perform similar functions, but there are important distinctions between the two that we’ll discuss in this post. By getting a greater knowledge of these disparities, individuals can make informed judgements when seeking professional aid in navigating their financial destinies.

Is There A Difference Between A Financial Advisor And A Financial Planner?

Although the phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a distinction between a financial advisor and a financial planner. What sets them apart is the specificity and breadth of the services they offer, click here.

Financial Advisor

  • A financial advisor is a broader term that encompasses professionals who provide advice on various financial matters. This category includes financial planners but also includes specialists such as investment advisors, stockbrokers, insurance agents, and others.
  • Financial advisors may have expertise in specific areas like investments, insurance, or retirement planning.
  • The term “financial advisor” doesn’t necessarily imply a comprehensive, holistic approach to financial planning.

Financial Planner

  • A financial planner is a specific type of financial advisor who typically takes a more comprehensive and holistic approach to financial well-being.
  • Financial planners work with clients to create detailed financial plans that address multiple aspects of their financial lives. This can include budgeting, retirement planning, tax strategies, estate planning, and more.
  • The goal of a financial planner is to help clients set and achieve long-term financial goals through a strategic and integrated approach.

In other words, while all financial planners can be thought of as financial advisors, not all financial advisors can be called financial planners. Having the job title of “financial planner” suggests a more comprehensive and strategic approach to managing a client’s money. It’s crucial for people looking for financial advice to know what to expect from the various specialists who use these terms so they can pick the one whose knowledge best fits their situation.

Can A Financial Planner Be A Financial Advisor?

To answer your question, a financial planner is a subset of financial advisors. While the phrase “financial advisor” can refer to a wide range of people who provide advice on money concerns, a “financial planner” refers to a more narrowly focused expert. When working with clients, financial planners create all-encompassing plans that address all of their monetary needs, not just investments or insurance.

While any financial planner can be considered a financial adviser, not all advisors necessarily offer the whole range of services that make up financial planning. In common parlance, a “financial planner” is someone whose job is to help their clients achieve their long-term financial goals through the development of personalised plans.

One way in which financial planners might set themselves apart is by emphasising comprehensive planning. They look into the specifics of each client’s situation, taking into account their income, outgoings, assets, liabilities, and desired outcomes. Planning for one’s financial future is the focus of financial planners, as opposed to the narrower expertise of some financial counsellors.

This all-encompassing strategy incorporates financial planning across the board, from investments to retirement to taxes to estate planning to risk mitigation via insurance and beyond. To create strategies that are adaptable to the inevitable ups and downs of life, financial planners place a premium on getting to know their customers’ hopes and fears.

The terms “financial advisor” and “financial planner” are sometimes used interchangeably, but for those who want a more comprehensive and tailored approach to their financial well-being, knowing the difference might be vital. Financial advisors and planners both help customers make educated decisions about their money and sort through the tangled web of their finances.

What Does A Financial Advisor Do?

A financial advisor is an expert in the field of providing advice and direction on money matters. Their primary focus is assisting clients in achieving their financial objectives by providing them with the knowledge and tools necessary to make sound financial decisions and effectively manage their assets. The following are some of the primary roles and functions of a financial advisor:

  • Assessment of Financial Situation: Financial advisors start by assessing their client’s current financial situation. This includes examining income, expenses, assets, liabilities, and overall financial health.
  • Goal Setting: They work with clients to establish short-term and long-term financial goals. These goals could include saving for retirement, purchasing a home, funding education, or creating an investment portfolio.
  • Investment Planning: Financial advisors help clients develop investment strategies based on their risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial objectives. This may involve selecting appropriate investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other assets.
  • Retirement Planning: Advisors assist clients in planning for retirement by estimating future expenses, determining retirement income needs, and recommending strategies to accumulate the necessary funds.
  • Tax Planning: They guide tax-efficient strategies to minimize tax liabilities. This may involve recommending tax-advantaged investment accounts, deductions, and credits.
  • Estate Planning: Financial advisors help clients plan for the distribution of their assets after death, including strategies to minimize estate taxes and ensure the smooth transfer of wealth.
  • Insurance Planning: Advisors evaluate the need for various types of insurance, such as life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance, and recommend appropriate coverage.
  • Budgeting and Debt Management: They assist clients in creating budgets, managing cash flow, and developing strategies to reduce and manage debt effectively.
  • Education Funding: For clients with educational funding goals, financial advisors help develop strategies to save for education expenses, whether for themselves or their children.
  • Regular Monitoring and Adjustments: Financial advisors regularly review and monitor clients’ financial plans, making adjustments as needed based on changes in goals, market conditions, or personal circumstances.

Investment advice, estate planning, and retirement planning are just some of the areas in which financial advisors might specialise. Individuals seeking the assistance of a financial advisor should do their due diligence to ensure that their needs and those of the advisor are compatible. For the sake of openness and trust in the advising relationship, it is also important to know how the advisor is paid (e.g., by fee or commission).


For both people and organisations, having access to a reliable financial counsellor is essential. These experts provide invaluable insight to help clients achieve their financial objectives, whether they need assistance with investments, retirement planning, or a more holistic approach to financial planning. Financial advisors help their customers in the long run by taking stock of their existing financial problems, establishing reasonable goals, and implementing actionable plans. 

Individuals should take their time finding a financial advisor whose expertise is a good fit for them, and then keep lines of communication open so that they may make modifications as their lives change. If you’re serious about improving your financial situation, finding a reliable financial counsellor is a crucial first step.