Financial Planner: What Kind do you Need?

Financial Planner: What Kind do you Need?

There are financial planners and then there are financial planners. Different terms refer to different kinds of professionals that will be able to assist you in different ways. Today we will take a closer look at different financial planner titles, let you know how they differ and what they can offer you.

What is a Financial Planner?

In general, a financial planner’s job is to understand their clients’ financial goals and create ways to reach them. Several situations when you would want to see a financial planner include:

  • When you receive a large amount of money all at once, either from investments, inheritance, etc.
  • After marriage or divorce
  • When you are preparing to pass on wealth
  • Once you have accumulated $200,000 or more in assets

The term financial planner gets thrown around a lot. You may be surprised to find out that there is no law governing who can use the title “financial planner.” Most investors will want to find a financial planner who has a certification from a state or federal government.

What is a Registered Representative?

Sometimes called a stockbroker, a registered representative is a salesperson that works for a broker-dealer. They must pass the Series 6 and/or Series 7 exam. They must register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and be licensed by the state’s securities regulator. The majority, but not all, registered representatives are paid a commission based on what they sell and how much of it they sell.

What is an Investment Advisor?

Investment advisors provide advice about securities. Many investment advisors are also registered representatives. Investment advisors are registered with the SEC and may refer to themselves as RIAs – registered investment advisors.

What is a Certified Financial Planner?

The CFP certification is the gold standard of financial planners, requiring adherence to strict educational and experiential standards. The certification is offered by the CFP Board. CFPs are always fiduciaries, which means they are legally required to put their clients’ financial interests ahead of their own at all times.

OptiFour: Let us help you reach your goals

OptiFour Integrated Wealth Management offers an interdisciplinary approach to financial planning and wealth management that is designed to help you identify and achieve your life goals. We have proudly served he Washington, DC region for over 25 years. Learn more by visiting our homepage.