Financial Advisor Definition

Financial Advisor Definition

6 min read

Whether planning for a wedding or wanting to create a budget, it doesn’t hurt to get help from an expert. But, of course, there’s no shortage of financial experts offering advice these days from financial advisors, stockbrokers, financial planners, and investment advisors. But where does one turn? This blog will cover some of the standard financial professional designations you’ll run into. In addition, I’ll unwrap the financial advisor definition and explain why you may choose to work with one.

Do you know the financial advisor definition? It’s anyone who helps people manage their money. Think of it as a catch-all title encompassing other, more specific subtitles.

Like the term “doctor” could mean a surgeon, gastroenterologist, or pediatrician, a financial advisor is general.

With specific titles come more specific skill sets and experiences. Stockbrokers, for example, buy and sell things like stocks and other securities for their clients. More often than not, it’s commission-based.

Financial planners take a more holistic approach to your financial situation, looking at estate and retirement planning, insurance needs, and personal finance.

And investment advisors are specialized financial professionals that will create an investment portfolio based on your goals, timeline, and risk tolerance, helping you build, manage, and transfer wealth.

The Many Different Professionals In Our Life

When you think about all the service providers you trust most and who have the most significant impact on your life, your financial advisor likely ranks up with your doctor or lawyer. So let’s look at the financial advisor definition.

What Is A Certified Financial Planner (CFP)?

One of the most common designations is a certified financial planner or a CFP. A CFP is a credentialled professional held to strict ethical and performance standards.

Besides needing extensive experience in financial planning, they must pass a rigorous board exam. This exam covers everything from financial planning, insurance, taxes, and retirement to estate planning.

What does this have to do with the financial advisor definition? Let’s keep going.

What Is A Chartered Financial Planner?

Another designation in the financial advisor definition is the chartered financial consultant or CHFC. While the CHFC and the CFPF are similar in practice, they have slightly different candidate requirements. Regardless, both are distinguished certifications in the financial industry.

What Is A Registered Investment Advisor?

Many financial professionals can call themselves financial advisors. Hence our look into the financial advisor definition.

Only certain ones can call themselves registered investment advisors or our IA.

An IA is a specialized financial professional registered with a securities and exchange commission and estate securities regulator.

Registered investment advisors are the ones who recommend which stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities their clients should buy and sell. As a result, many people turn to an RIA for portfolio management and retirement planning.

Held To Strict Fiduciary Standards

What does the financial advisor definition mean in finance? In the finance world, many financial planners operate under a suitability standard. Their recommendations must be based on the client’s objectives and risk tolerance.

Conversely, registered investment advisors must operate under a stricter fiduciary standard. The standard legally requires advisers to put their client’s interests above their own.

For example, RIAs cannot buy securities for themselves before buying them for a client. In addition, they must disclose any conflicts of interest and do their best to ensure the investment advice is based on accurate and complete information.

As a long-term financial partner, RIAs will guide your investment choices and manage your money, providing comprehensive financial planning throughout life’s stages.

What Is A Fiduciary?

What’s the difference between a fiduciary and a financial advisor definition? A fiduciary is someone who has to have your best interest before others.

And legally, they actually cannot put their interest before your interests.

So as a financial fiduciary, I legally have to put my client’s best interest before mine, and I have to prove to my compliance department that I’m doing so.

Look For Fiduciary’s in All Aspects of Your Life

I think you should look for a fiduciary in all parts of life. For example, if you want a roof, try to find someone on your team, not just trying to sell you a roof. Likewise, find a fiduciary if you have a contractor or anybody.

Unfortunately, most industries don’t have to have a fiduciary license. There’s no equivalent like there is with financial advisors. However, advisers take a license to become fiduciaries with financial advisors.

If you have a financial advisor and they don’t do well in your best interest, your worst-case scenario is terrible. So work with somebody who legally has to have your interest first, livelihood.

Why Should You Use A Financial Advisor?

For many reasons. Perhaps you’re blending a family, getting your parents ready to move into a retirement home, or becoming new parents and want to set up a fund for your children’s education.

Or perhaps you need counseling on life, mortgage, and disability insurance or help to get out of debt. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

Ultimately, every person’s financial situation is different. Therefore, you must choose the financial advisor that’s best suited for your situation. Whatever that is, your advisor must have the skills to help you reach your financial goals.

A great financial professional will act in your best interest and provide unbiased advice. Unfortunately, many are masquerading as financial professionals with no more than an online learning academy certificate.

Final Thoughts

Now you should know the financial advisor definition. Do not hire the first financial advisor you meet. Interview at least a few advisors before picking the best one for you.

To avoid someone who doesn’t have your best interests in mind, I suggest you hire one that’s a fiduciary. Also, don’t choose someone who isn’t a registered trustee or expert who is ethically bound to act in your best interests.

Related Articles

Duration Definition

Duration Definition

What impact will rising interest rates have on my bond? When will interest rates rise? Who knows? The central banks seem to change their opinion

Read More »

Claim your 100% FREE Trading Courses. This is strictly for people who are hungry  for knowledge. We’ll teach you how to trade!

Rated Best Value by Investopedia


If you’ve looked for trading education elsewhere then you’ll notice that it can be very costly.

We are opposed to charging ridiculous amounts to access experience and quality information. 

That being said, our website is a great resource for traders or investors of all levels to learn about day trading stocks, futures, and options. Swing trading too! 

On our site, you will find thousands of dollars worth of free online trading courses, tutorials, and reviews.

We put all of the tools available to traders to the test and give you first-hand experience in stock trading you won’t find elsewhere.

Our content is packed with the essential knowledge that’s needed to help you to become a successful trader.

It’s important to treat day trading stocks, options, futures, and swing trading like you would with getting a professional degree, a new trade, or starting any new career.

Invest the proper time into your Trading Education and don’t try to run before you learn to crawl. Trading stocks is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s not gambling either, though there are people who treat it this way. Don’t be that person! 


The Bullish Bears team focuses on keeping things as simple as possible in our online trading courses and chat rooms. We provide our members with courses of all different trading levels and topics.

If you’re a beginner, intermediate level, or looking for expert trading knowledge…we’ve got you covered. 

We have a basic stock trading course, swing trading course, 2 day trading courses, 2 options courses, 2 candlesticks courses, and broker courses to help you get started. Free.

Just choose the course level that you’re most interested in and get started on the right path now. Become a leader, not a follower. When you’re ready you can join our chat rooms and access our Next Level training library. No rush. We’re here to help.

Click Here to take our free courses.