What is a financial planner?
Written by Carl Turner on April 15, 2014.
Although I am an industry insider with an intimate knowledge of the world of finance and investment, I do appreciate that for the layman the unfamiliar terminology and off-putting jargon can be confusing. Even understanding the role that I perform can be confusing with a variety of terms used to describe the job including financial adviser, financial consultant and investment adviser.
This confusion stems from a blurring of the roles carried out by the people who use these job titles. In many cases the same person carries out the dual roles of advising a client on their finances and managing their investments. I believe that this approach is ill-advised and not in the best interest of the client, given that each of these functions requires a completely different skill set and specialist knowledge. I prefer to describe myself as a financial planner – I provide the advice and leave the management of investments to others who are experts in their field.
So what exactly do I do?
My job is to help individuals to define and meet their financial objectives. In the first instance this involves an in-depth analysis of a client’s current financial situation by assessing their income and assets. I then work closely with the client to establish their future goals and map out the route to achieving them by putting together a comprehensive financial strategy. This usually has three elements to it:
- The creation and building wealth via regular savings, investment plans and existing pension funds management
- A regular review of the clients’ objectives to ensure that the wealth created grows to meet the clients’ future needs
- The protection of that wealth by putting in place adequate insurance to cover clients and their families against unforeseen and potentially catastrophic events such as death or critical illness.
A common misconception about my role is that I work solely with the extremely wealthy. Not true! It is actually my belief that whatever their age or income, everyone should have a financial planner and in practice, my clients come from many different backgrounds.
The financial requirements and goals of someone in their 30’s are very different to those of a 60 something family man approaching retirement so my expertise covers a broad range of different services and enables me to propose solutions tailored to each individual client.
As well as advising on investments and savings, I can help with pension and retirement planning, arrange pension transfers and consolidations, advise on specialist pension schemes (such as QROPS and SIPPS) and assist with legacy planning, international banking, life insurance and medical insurance. All of these areas will be explored in future blog posts, which I hope you will find useful and informative reading. In the meantime, if you are looking for guidance in any of these areas, I would be delighted to help you.