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What Is a Financial Planner?
A financial planner is a qualified investment professional who helps individuals meet their long-term financial objectives. A financial planner consults with a client to set goals regarding their finances.
Financial planners generally assist clients with:
- Saving for Retirement
- Tax planning
- Risk Management
- Asset Allocation
- Estate Planning
Generally, a financial planner will work with the client's needs, expectations, and risk tolerance in determining a financial plan.
Financial planners do not have access to a client's money or assets, beyond whatever information the client chooses to provide. They do not make investments for the client or sell financial products.
Financial planners are commonly credentialed by the Certified Financial Planner Board (CPB). To earn the CFP credential, financial planners must pass the CPB exam; meet specific education requirements; and complete coursework from a CFP Board Registered Program.
Technically, credentials are not required by law and anyone can advertise themselves as being a financial planner. It is up to the client to be aware of the difference and make prudent decisions based on the planner's certification (or lack of one), experience and education.
Certified Financial Planner Board
The CFP website offers information for both financial planners looking to earn a credential, and clients looking for CFP professionals.
Financial Planner Association's Planner Search
The Financial Planner Association (a professional organization for financial planners), offers its own search engine for finding a financial planner.
Financial Planning Association of Metro New York
The website for CFP members in the New York City area. The website offers a directory, news, information on events, and related information, mostly for CFP professionals.
Let's Make a Plan
The CFP's Let's Make a Plan website offers users a search engine to find certified professionals by region, as well as useful information on the basics of financial planning.