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Handling your finances can be an extremely overwhelming process if you don’t know what you’re doing. Thankfully there are many different kinds of financial advisors out there whose job is to help you manage your finances. When searching for one, make sure to vet your advisors carefully, go into the process knowing what kind of advice you need, and find someone who is obligated by fiduciary duty to act in their client’s best interest rather than their own. With that in mind, here are some of the financial advisors you’ll come across in the world.

Investment Advisors

Investment advisors are people or a company who are paid to provide investment advice to clients. It’s also a legal term used by the SEC to denote a registered financial professional. Investment advisors provide the necessary advice to their clients and can manage client assets directly. Before hiring an investment advisor, verify their registration through BrokerCheck by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Certified Financial Planners

Certified financial planners, or CFPs, are financial advisors who have met the training and experience requirements of the CFP Board and passed the certification exam. These people are held to high ethical standards and have a fiduciary duty to their clients. Financial planners are allowed to offer services that don’t require regulation, like guidance in financial decisions, but can also act as investment advisors as well. Some financial advisors use the title “financial planner” who don’t have a CFP designation, so before hiring one, check their credentials with the CFP Board.

Wealth Advisors

A wealth advisor (as well as wealth managers) works with very wealthy clients and offers holistic financial planning services to them. Additionally, wealth advisors can offer these clients investment guidance. These professionals can typically help clients in every area of their financial life, such as estate planning and tax help. The minimum investment for most wealth advisors is in the millions.


Unlike the previously mentioned advisors, robo-advisors are inexpensive automatic investment management services. This service is controlled by a computer algorithm rather than letting you work with a person; the algorithm creates and manages an investment portfolio for your goals for relatively cheap. If you’re looking for something to help manage your investments, going for a robo-advisor would be the right choice for you.