What is a Financial Advisor? Everything You Need to Know

A financial advisor is a professional who provides expert advice and guidance to individuals and businesses to help them achieve their financial goals. They offer personalized strategies and solutions based on their clients' unique circumstances and objectives.

In this guide, you'll learn:

  • What do financial advisors do?
  • What are the responsibilities of a financial advisor?
  • How can a financial advisor help you?

Table of Content

Text definition of a financial advisor as a professional providing expert financial advice and guidance to individuals and businesses.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial advisors create personalized plans to help clients reach financial goals like retirement and education savings.
  • Advisors have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients' best interests, offering guidance on investments, taxes, and estate planning.
  • Engaging a financial advisor can reduce financial stress, provide expert knowledge, and lead to better financial outcomes.

What do Financial Advisors do?

Financial advisors offer a wide range of services, including:

  • Financial planning: Developing comprehensive plans for retirement, education, investments, and other financial goals.
  • Investment management: Selecting and managing investment portfolios tailored to clients' risk tolerance and objectives.
  • Retirement planning: Helping clients save for and manage their finances during retirement.
  • Tax planning: Optimizing tax strategies to minimize liabilities and maximize savings.
  • Estate planning: Developing plans for the transfer of assets after death.
  • Insurance planning: Analyzing insurance needs and recommending suitable policies.
  • Debt management: Assisting clients in developing strategies to reduce and manage debt.

What are the Responsibilities of a Financial Advisor?

Financial advisors have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients' best interests. Their responsibilities include:

  • Understanding clients' needs and goals: Conducting thorough assessments to gather information about clients' financial situations, risk tolerance, and objectives.
  • Developing personalized financial plans: Creating customized plans based on clients' needs and goals.
  • Implementing financial plans: Selecting and managing investments, insurance policies, and other financial products.
  • Monitoring and reviewing financial plans: Regularly reviewing plans to ensure they remain aligned with clients' goals and adjusting them as needed.
  • Educating clients: Providing clients with the information and resources they need to make informed financial decisions.

How can a Financial Advisor Help You?

A financial advisor can help you:

  • Achieve your financial goals: By developing and implementing a personalized financial plan, a financial advisor can help you reach your financial goals faster and more efficiently.
  • Make informed financial decisions: A financial advisor can provide you with the information and guidance you need to make sound financial decisions.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety about money: By managing your finances and helping you plan for the future, a financial advisor can reduce your stress and anxiety about money.
  • Protect your assets: A financial advisor can help you protect your assets through proper insurance planning and estate planning.
  • Navigate complex financial situations: A financial advisor can help you navigate complex financial situations such as divorce, job loss, or inheritance.

If seeking a licensed professional, consider our services. Our insurance advisors and client support team are here to assist you with your insurance needs.


This guide has offered a comprehensive overview of financial advisors. For those seeking to deepen their understanding, we recommend exploring our guide on Financial Planning, which dives into the process of creating a roadmap for your financial future and its implications in greater depth.

Financial Advisor FAQ

What is the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner?

A financial planner typically focuses on creating a comprehensive financial plan, while a financial advisor may offer a wider range of services, including investment management and insurance planning. Some professionals may hold both titles and offer a combination of services.

How much does a financial advisor cost?

Financial advisors typically charge fees based on a percentage of assets under management (AUM), hourly rates, or flat fees. Some advisors may also earn commissions on the financial products they recommend.

How do I choose a financial advisor?

When choosing a financial advisor, consider their experience, qualifications, fees, and investment philosophy. It's important to find an advisor who you trust and who understands your financial goals and risk tolerance.

What qualifications should a financial advisor have?

Financial advisors may hold various designations, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), or Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). These designations indicate that the advisor has met certain education and experience requirements.