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The Difference Between Financial Planner, Advisor & Consultant

Financial Advisor

When you search online and type financial advisor near me or financial planner near me, you will often find similar results. Why is that? The short answer is because the terms financial advisor, financial planner, financial consultant, and wealth manager are all used interchangeably in the financial services industry. The only way that a title can really differentiate someone is if that title is tied to a designation – for example, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, a Chartered Financial Consultant, or a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. These are ones that you have to pass exams to advertise the certification.

So how are people to determine the difference between all these titles of financial planner and financial advisor? You ask! Have a conversation with the financial professional and find out their practice and their background when you are looking for a fiduciary nearby. There are ways that I think of different advisors using the different titles, but it is merely my own way to making sense of title-mania.


Financial planners, to me, are people who help clients put together a financial plan. They help clients aim for future goals and set up road marks to get there. Financial advisors, to me, are people who offer to help match you with the best financial services offerings to your situation. They may offer mutual funds or an insurance option to help fill stated needs of clients. Financial consultants, to me, are people who do a deep dive into client’s financial situations and then come up with a plan of action to address each issue. They may offer a few options and allow a client to choose their best path forward and if they want to do it on their own or have help. Wealth managers, to me, are people who are professional asset gathers. They help people with their finances, but they are focused on people with real wealth as opposed to someone who is working with smaller sized clients.

As I said, this is just my personal breakdown of how the different titles can be interpreted. Unfortunately, because there is no industry standard, financial professionals can often use all of these titles interchangeably, making it difficult for clients to compare and contrast. It is always best to examine both what your advisor says s/he is and how s/he works with you to see what bucket you would put him/her in.


At the end of the day, make sure your financial advisor, financial planner, financial consultant, or wealth manager is the best one for you and your needs. At the Cremé Wealth Team we believe in full transparency and empowering people to make the right decision. Please reach out and continue to explore our website to learn about how we work with clients and helping them to achieve their financial goals.

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