Financial Advisor Companies - Financial Planners - Financial Service Providers

Financial Planners, Investment Advisers and Investment Counselors?

People who wish to take charge of their financial assets and investments are often confused about whom to consult to help them with their investment planning. There are a variety of professionals who can help with this endeavor but it is not often clear exactly who is suited for what purpose. There are financial planners, investment advisers and investment counselors and many people are not sure what the difference between them is. There are independent advisers and planners as well as those who work for larger firms. The regulations and licensing varies depending on the kinds of transactions these professionals conduct. Someone trading securities for clients is under much stricter regulations than the individual who helps clients sort out financial and estate problems. There are various licenses depending on the state of residence. It is good to ask for credentials and licenses before hiring one of these professionals since the regulations are not always clear-cut.


Financial planners are people who help clients sort out personal finance issues and help them plan proper cash-flow management, investment planning and tax planning, as well as retirement planning and anything else that relates to the finances of the client. Business owners often hire financial planners to help with the restructuring of the business. These professionals work together with clients to draw up detailed financial plans that are designed to help the client achieve personal financial and investment goals. The planner devises a strategy to help the client achieve goals in as straightforward a manner as possible. Often, clients hire personal financial planners because they are not sure how best to solve the financial situation they may have gotten into. Financial planners can help clients to clearly see the steps that should be taken to clear up debt situations and make progress towards financial solvency. It is often difficult to see your way out of a difficult financial situation and a financial planner can lend an objective point of view that is designed to quickly clear up the predicament.

An investment adviser is an individual who advises clients on the purchase and investment of securities. These advisers may be registered with the SEC as well as state regulatory agencies. Some advisers are not registered due to certain exemptions such as those working for hedge funds. Registered advisers are strictly regulated and usually work for mutual fund companies. They are usually compensated by receiving a percentage of the invested money that they manage. Sometimes, they are paid a fixed or hourly fee for their services. The advisers are under strict regulations that they cannot personally profit financially from securities that they advise their clients to buy. If they personally own securities and then advise clients to buy these same securities, they are in violation of SEC regulations. Investment advisers are knowledgeable in the stock market and keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry. They may administer institutional funds as well as advise individual clients.

An investment counselor is a professional who is given the power to make investment decisions on a client`s behalf. These professionals are held to a much higher standard. As a general rule, they are the most experienced financial professionals and have the highest accreditation required by the securities industry. The counselor`s main objective is to provide wealth management solutions to their clients and they focus strictly on managing investments. Investment counselors usually work with clients who have a high net worth and are able to invest large amounts of money comfortably. Anyone planning to invest in a home may wish to check out the mortgage cost calculator to help make the decision easier.



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