Financial Planning vs. Investing Services
In this case, we want to distinguish between advisors who provide advice/services and advisors who sell recommendations/products.
We acknowledge it is a little confusing, but there is a big difference between advisors who:
- Provide advice and services for fees (real advisors)
- Make recommendations and sell products for commissions (salesmen)
This page is focused on the advisors who provide one or more of the five wealth management services for fees.
Think of planning services as your financial roadmap. Where are you going and how are you going to get there.
There are five primary types of planning services: Financial, tax, retirement, estate, and charitable plans. Some plans are integrated, for example, financial and retirement. Some plans are stand-alone, for example charitable.
This service is more complicated when you distinguish between who is an investment advisor and who is a money manager.
Financial advisors provide several types of advice and services: Investment strategy, asset allocation, risk management manager selection, and performance measurement.
Money managers invest your assets in the securities markets – separate accounts or pooled accounts (mutual funds, ETFs).
This service uses insurance products to manage risk, produce income, and replace assets in your estate. A high percentage of advisors are dual licensed so they can provide investment and insurance advice for the following types of products: Life, annuity, long-term care, health, and disability.
The AICPA says 35% of CPAs provide financial advice and services. Consequently, there is a good chance your CPA is also in the financial advice business. Financial advice is usually limited to planning and/or investment services.
Conversely, a small percentage of financial advisors provide tax advice and services. When they do, they may be affiliated with CPAs who are the tax experts.
A smaller number of advisors provide legal advice and services. When they do, they focus on asset related services: Estate plans, wills, trusts, and probate. Similar to CPAs, a larger number of advisors are affiliated with attorneys who provide these types of specialized services.