When you’re looking for the right professional to help you manage your money, you come across quite a few different titles. Because we believe that it’s important to know what you’re getting when you hire someone to provide guidance on your financial life, we’re here to help you sort out the differences as we see them between two commonly used titles: wealth manager and financial advisor.
It’s important to understand that these terms are subjective and can be used to describe those who serve any variety of functions in the financial planning industries.
First, what defines a financial advisor?
The term “financial advisor” is often used as a broad term to describe a professional who provides financial advice, guidance, and services, such as portfolio management, investment management, retirement planning, tax planning, estate and legacy planning, and even small business planning.
How do you know what to look for in a financial advisor? For starters, we believe it’s important that the professional you’re considering working with meets these qualifications:
- Has earned the right credentials: CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CFP (Certified Financial Planner)
- Is an investment advisor representative that works under a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm.
Also non-negotiable: Find a financial advisor who will exercise fiduciary duty by putting the best interests of his or her clients first and operating with the highest ethical standards.
Is a wealth manager different from a financial advisor?
The term wealth manager (also commonly called a wealth advisor) is sometimes used to describe a specific type of financial advisor, with additional experience, knowledge, and sometimes credentials.
What’s more, a wealth manager’s focus is a bit different: Just like the name implies, a wealth manager manages wealth, not just finances, with the goal of increasing a client’s wealth over the long term. They seek to add value and bring peace of mind to clients about their financial futures. Wealth managers take an extremely personalized approach in devising the right strategy for their clients.
We believe that when searching for the right wealth manager, the credentials CFA and CFP and a total commitment to fiduciary duty matter.
Above all, insist on working with a wealth management firm who prizes advisor-client relationships, transparency, and is committed to aligning your financial strategy to your goals.
Are you interested in wealth management services and need a wealth advisor who will be focused on understanding your financial goals? Get in touch to learn more about our personalized approach at Ironwood Wealth Management.