Financial advisors and planners come in many varieties. From day-to-day money managers to long-term strategists, there is a financial expert out there to fit just about any needs. This article describes some of the most common types of financial experts and the types of services they can perform.
Eldercare financial experts
There are many different titles for financial experts who help aging people, but they all have one thing in common: they all have the knowledge and experience to serve older clients. Often grouped under the name “eldercare financial planners,” these professionals offer a unique perspective on the challenges and needs faced by older people. They may fall under the category of certified financial planners, financial gerontologists, or financial consultants. By serving as an impartial moderator, these financial experts can allay any worries by family members about how their loved ones are spending and saving money, and help craft a strong plan for any future financial challenges.
The term “financial advisor” covers a broad array of services and skills, so it’s important to do research when looking for a financial advisor. Financial advisors can be certified public accountants, investment bankers, or any one of a number of job titles. Some designations carry a certification, like Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Financial Planner, and Certified Fund Specialist. Others work within the structure of a bank, nonprofit, or investment firm to advise clients on many aspects of financial planning and strategy. Financial advisors generally offer recommendations on specific topics, such as home buying, investment in the stock market, or life insurance purchases.
Certified financial planners
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, and is earned after candidates demonstrate thorough understanding of a broad variety of topics related to investment, money management, ethics, insurance, taxes, stocks and bonds. The certification award shows that the CFP is qualified and well-versed in long-term money management as well as the legal and ethical requirements of their position. A financial planner can help craft a long-term financial strategy that takes into account all aspects of the financial landscape of their client, from daily and monthly budgeting, to saving up for a large purchase, to making the most out of investment income.
Daily money managers
Some financial experts specialize in day-to-day money managing. Daily money managers are an especially good option if the older person has suffered cognitive decline and can no longer reliably remember to perform simple tasks. Some of the tasks a daily money manager can perform include:
- Budgeting for groceries and other expenses
- Balancing the checkbook
- Monitoring credit
- Making sense of medical bills
- Staying alert for fraud or scam attempts
- Paying utility bills and negotiating for better rates
Brick and mortar banks often have a personal banker or two on staff to assist customers with more comprehensive needs beyond simple bank transactions. A personal banker can advise customers on money markets, savings and other accounts, as well as recommend long-term investing products such as certificates of deposit (CDs), bonds, and other commercial banking products. They can also help out with financing options like mortgages, insurance policies, and auto loans.
An investment advisor focuses on making their clients’ investments perform at the highest possible level. Other terms for this service provider include wealth manager, asset manager, portfolio manager, and investment counselor. An investment advisor should take the time to understand each client’s unique living situation, investment goals, and long-term plans before recommending a course of action for investing in stocks, bonds, funds, property or other products. Some investment advisors will directly manage a client’s portfolio, while others offer counseling only.
Getting help from a financial expert
Online financial services
Overview of financial planning