You more than likely have seen Financial Professionals call themselves by different titles. And like many other consumers you may be confuse about the differences, or if there are any differences.
If you have ever wondered about the difference between your friend’s Certified Financial Planner™ and your Financial Advisor, keep reading to find out.
The term Financial Advisor is a broad title and can be used to include those individuals who are Certified Financial Planners™ ( CFP®). Financial Advisors are any professional advisors who work with clients providing them advice relating to their finances.
Certified Financial Planners™ have acquired their designation through what is known as the “Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.” These financial professionals obtained this specialized designation by undergoing additional educational requirements, meeting experience requirements, passing additional exams and are held to a high level of ethics.
In fact, the certification process usually takes several years to achieve and during that time the planner must complete four requirements from the CFP® Board:
Aside from the additional education requirements, the biggest difference between Certified Financial Planners™ and Financial Advisors is that a CFP® have a fiduciary responsibility to their clients. Meaning they must always put the best interest of their clients first. So, if you are working with a CFP® you will know they won’t have any conflicting interests.
If you are unsure if your current advisor is a Certified Financial Planners™ you can visit www.cfp.net to check. The Board provides an area where you can search for CFP®’s who are in good standing with the Board. Whether you want to check the credentials of your current advisor or find a CFP® to begin working with you can do so at the Board’s website. Also, there is a lot of good information about financial planning there too.
Remember, Financial Advisors and Certified Financial Planners™ are both qualified to provide you with advice. But, Certified Financial Planners™ are qualified to provide advice on more topics and more in-depth planning needs. When deciding which you want to work with, you will need to consider your own personal situation and needs.