When you hear people talk about their “Advisors” and “Financial Planners”, you may think they are the same thing, but there is a huge difference. “Advisors” are often focused on investment management, while “Planners” consider other topics like insurance and taxes when making investment recommendations. To add even more confusion, anyone can use “Financial Planner” as a job title.
An important distinction to look for is the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. When you see someone with a CFP® beside their name, it means they have met rigorous education, training and ethical standards. This certification currently represents the standard of excellence in financial planning. These individuals represent a high level of competency, ethics and professionalism. And because they are held to a fiduciary standard of care, a CFP® professional is required to act in your best interest when managing your assets. This isn’t something that all financial advisors or “financial planners” can say.