A financial advisor and financial planner are not the same — here’s what to look for in both

In the area of personal finance, the words "financial adviser" and "financial planner" are frequently used interchangeably.

Financial Planner & Financial Advisor

However, while both professional designations entail someone who advises you on financial matters,

Financial Planner & Financial Advisor

there is a distinction between the two. Knowing the difference might help you decide which one to choose in specific situations.

Financial Planner & Financial Advisor

In summary, a financial adviser helps customers with more specific, immediate financial issues.

Financial Planner & Financial Advisor

They might focus on retirement, investing, taxes, or estate preparation.

Financial Planner & Financial Advisor

Though the aims of a financial adviser and a financial planner differ slightly,

What to look for in a financial advisor and planner?

The most important item to consider is the credentials of your potential adviser or planner.

Financial Planner & Financial Advisor

So, how can you tell if a financial counselor or planner is "authentic?"

Credentials to look out for

A person with credentials may possess multiple licenses and certifications,

Financial Planner & Financial Advisor

The most common of which is Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®). "Many people see CFP as the gold standard," Schweiss adds.

Financial Planner

Financial Planner & Financial Advisor

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