What Is The Difference Between A Financial Planner And Financial Advisor?

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Raffi Pailagian
Financial Planner / Managing Partner

Difference Between A Financial Planner And Financial Advisor

So what is the difference between a financial planner and financial advisor?

A Certified Financial Planner is a Financial Adviser.  But a Financial Adviser is not always a Certified Financial Planner.  It’s a complicated business.  And getting more so with the changes being made in the industry.  But there are some things that might help you understand the difference, and decide which one is best for you.

Financial Advisers

Essentially, anyone who gives you advice on financial products can be referred to as a ‘financial adviser’, because they are giving you advice in relation to your finances.  A qualified Financial Adviser, however, has specialist training, generally in a range of financial areas.

Certified Financial Planners

Certified Financial Planners generally have much broader and deeper financial training.  They are likely to have a degree in a related area or a Diploma in Financial Planning.  This means they are able to develop a full financial strategy for you that incorporates any and all aspects of your financial life – tax, insurance, superannuation, investments, and estate planning.

What do You Need?

If all you are looking for is a new life insurance policy, a Financial Adviser will certainly be able to help you out.

However, the best way to grow and protect your financial position is to have an overall strategy, in which all the individual components work together to provide you with balance, flexibility and strength.  This is where the expertise of a Certified Financial Planner can make all the difference. Some Certified Financial Planners have specific areas of expertise, so it is a good idea to have in mind what the most important issue is for you when thinking about choosing a planner.

One last thing…

Whether you decide to use a Financial Adviser or a Certified Financial Planner, there are three things you might like to think about:

  • Make sure they are a member of the relevant professional association. For Certified Financial Planners this is the Financial Planning Association of Australia.  For Financial Advisers it is Association of Financial Advisers.  These organisations hold their members to a Code of Ethics, and require ongoing education and professional development, ensuring their members are up to date with the industry trends and requirements.
  • Make sure they provide you with a Financial Services Guide. This will detail their qualifications and all the products they are authorised to give advice on.
  • Make sure you are comfortable with whoever you choose. You will be talking to them about some of the most personal and important information in your life.  A good rapport is vital, so once you have done your due diligence on their qualifications, trust your instincts.

When you want to chat about what sort of financial advice is best for you, and whether a Planner of Adviser is what you need, please contact us on 02 9976 3388 or click below and we’ll be in touch:

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