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What is the difference between a Dallas Financial Planning Firm and a Dallas Financial Advisory Firm?

Wondering the difference between a Financial Planner and a Financial Advisor? The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) defines 183 professional designations on its website. While that is confusing enough already, some titles are more generic while others require specific experience and educational qualifications. So how do you tell the difference when selecting a financial advisor?

Financial advisors and financial planners are two of the most popular titles. Many are used interchangeably, but they describe different abilities and offerings.

Simply put, a financial advisor can be anyone who helps clients manage their money. It is sort of an umbrella term that many others fall under. Advisors may have a specialization, such as estate planning, retirement planning, insurance, debt repayment, investment management, tax planning or any other aspect of the financial industry. They might even help you with each of these things. Advisors may also cater to certain income levels.

Like a financial counselor and a private wealth manager, a Dallas financial planner is one type of financial advisor (based in Dallas, Texas). A financial planner specializes in creating a comprehensive plan to help you achieve your long-term goals. Like a financial advisor, a financial planner will assess your current situation and make recommendations on what you can do to improve it. A financial planner may also have certain areas of expertise, such as retirement planning or education funding planning.

Financial advisors and financial planners, like those at Munn & Morris Financial Advisors, may hold different certifications and licenses. Financial advisors who help manage investments or buy and sell stocks typically must hold a Series 65 securities license. Advisors providing financial planning often either hold a certified financial planner (CFP) or chartered financial consultant (ChFC). These financial certifications show that the advisor has the requisite education and experience in financial planning.

Where to start: Start with your needs and then the titles

Initially, assure you know what you need in a financial planning company before you find someone to make sure the person you hire meets your needs. You can then narrow your choices a bit. Then start by asking questions:

  • Are you commission-based or fee-based?
  • Are you a Certified Financial Planning professional (CFP™) or have any other certifications?
  • Where are you located?
  • What services do you have and are you able to recommend different types based on my needs (ie life insurance, brokerage services, annuities, etc)?
  • Do you have a specialization, such as divorced individuals, family planning, small business planning, etc?

 

Should I Get a Financial Advisor or a Financial Planner?

Everyone has a unique financial situation and thus different needs and remember that while you’re on the lookout, remember that “financial advisor” and “financial planner” are broad categories.

It’s the certifications that you’ll want to pay attention to. If you want to work with a financial planner, you should look for a CFP. Certified financial planners must complete relevant coursework in financial planning and pass a rigorous examination. The exam ensures that they can apply their education to financial situations. They also must have at least three years of full-time financial planning experience. Most importantly, certified financial planners have a fiduciary duty to work in their clients’ best interests. They must follow the Board’s code of ethics and conduct, meaning they must always provide advice based on your best interests instead of their own. The Munn & Morris Financial PlannerDallas team has these requisites and therefore a great choice for your broader planning needs.

Munn & Morris Financial Advisors is lead by president, Irv Munn, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner in Dallas Texas dedicated to serving your best interests.

Please contact the most trusted Financial Planning Firms Dallas today to schedule a complimentary review and to discuss your financial planning needs.
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