Financial Planner

What it is:

A financial planner is a credentialed professional who, for a fee, assists individuals and organizations in reaching their financial goals and increasing their net worth through careful investing and money management on the basis of their means and financial status.

How it works/Example:

A financial planner is similar to an investment advisor, investment manager, investment consultant, or financial advisor.

Financial planners combine asset allocation and tax planning in order to manage the risk associated with educational, estate, and retirement planning. The certifications for financial planners include, but are not limited to, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Registered Financial Planner (RFP), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). In many cases, a financial planner will carry more than one of these designations. In addition, some financial planners will also hold brokerage licenses which allow them to function for clients in a more full-service manner.

Why it Matters:

A financial planner has specific training and experience in money management and investment techniques which qualify him to advise others on how they can best achieve their financial goals. It is advisable, however, to maintain an investment portfolio at an entity that is separate from that of the financial planner in order to avoid conflict of interest.

Best execution refers to the imperative that a broker, market maker, or other agent acting on behalf of an investor is obligated to execute the investor's order in a way that is most advantageous to the investor rather than the agent.