Financial Planner vs. Financial Advisor: What’s the Difference?

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I got a call from a Fidelity rep recently. He explained that my old financial advisor left the firm and he wanted to introduce himself, just in case I needed assistance. It’s too bad we never know when our contact leaves before the split happens, but at least they called me to let me know there will be a change.

On the call, he mentioned how he’s a financial planner. But he kept referring to the person he replaced as a financial advisor. I asked him why he chose to use a different title to refer to his predecessor. He explained that it was because he went through the pain to obtain a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification.

I didn’t press further, but I did look it up afterward. What does it mean to be an financial advisor? What does it mean when someone calls themselves a financial planner? Are they different? Here’s what I found out.

David Ning

David Ning

David is a published author, entrepreneur and a proud dad. He firmly believes that anyone can build a solid financial foundation as long as they are willing to learn. He runs, where he discusses every day money issues to encourage the masses to think about their finances more often. Today, he is living his dream of helping others achieve financial freedom by providing financial education to anyone who wants to seek advice. You can get in contact with him on his website, or on social media through his Twitter or Facebook page.