Financial planning and investment advisory are the two different services of the same industry, as like a relation between an architect and a builder / a doctor and a chemist: Both the services are important but are independent to each other.
There is a massive shift happening in the personal financial industry. People however, at a large needs to understand the role of this two different profession, where one uses the compass and the other uses the calculator to meet their work as laid by their respective clients. The ignorance of their respective independent function however may harm us in a long term.
Investment advisory is a process of execution of a plan, whereas financial planning is preparing the plan itself. In fact sometimes the financial planners may even advice not to invest even in good investment options, giving more priority to the profile of his client than to the benefits of the investment plan.
Financial planners like the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER CM (CFPCM) adheres to such areas which is different to what an investment advisors would take up for the financial planning process. It includes:
• Cash flow analysis and budgeting
• Insurance planning and risk management
• Investment planning
• Tax planning
• Retirement planning
• Estate planning
Investment advisors may analyse the risk tolerance of the prospecting investor and place in a portfolio that may be identical or almost identical to other portfolios of their other clients. Financial planners on the other hand with a fiduciary obligation will completely customize the financial plan based on individual life goals.
With more and more companies entering the industry the choices are getting wider along with the gap between an investment advisor and financial planner.