Financial Planner vs. Investment Adviser vs. Wealth Manager

There are many financial professionals out there in various areas of specialization dedicated to helping clients manage their money. Accountants, financial planners, investment advisors and stockbrokers may all fit the bill, depending a client’s needs.

Here we will take a look at the differences between a few financial professions – financial planners, investment advisors and wealth managers.

Financial Planner

Target Audience – Middle class

Objective – Create Wealth

A financial planner will help clients develop a plan encompassing all areas of finances, including savings, taxes, retirement, inheritance and college funds, in addition to helping clients work out how they can achieve their financial aims.

Promote financial solutions which are driven by client needs

Fees – Some charge a percentage for all assets under management, versus those that charge a fee for their advice – fee versus commission based.

Investment Advisor

Target Audience – Everyone

Objective – Create Wealth

An investment adviser usually concentrates on offering investment strategies and products to clients. They deal in all kinds of securities and sometimes have a fiduciary responsibility to see to it investments are appropriate for the client.

Sell specific products

Fees – Most of the investment advisors in India are commission based.

Wealth Manager

Target Audience – Rich people, HNI

Objective – Preserve & Grow Wealth

Wealth managers help those individuals with a large amount of income and assets with estate planning, risk management, and capital gains planning. Private wealth managers are usually close to their clients and act as a custodian of their money.

Promote financial solutions which are driven by client needs

Fees – Mostly charge a percentage for all assets under management.

Though there are some noteworthy distinctions, there is also considerable overlap between these roles. In fact, financial planners and wealth managers can both be licensed as investment advisors so as to be able to recommend securities to their clients.

Clients all seem to agree that the number one consideration should be that financial professionals are trustworthy and have the skills and core competencies necessary to achieve the desired result.

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