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Financial Planning Advisor – Who Are They and What Do They Do?

Despite having collected $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets, high-net-worth individuals and families often lack the time and skills to manage that wealth effectively. This makes it hard for them to sustain their wealth throughout their life, protect their assets, and live a financially secure retirement. However, all this can become possible with the help of a financial planning advisor. Such an advisor can help guide and coordinate all aspects of your wealth for holistic financial planning and wealth management. But before that, you need to find the right financial planning advisor for yourself, and you can learn how from reading our excellent guide on choosing financial advisors for high-net-worth investors with $10 million or more in liquid assets.

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7 Secrets To High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning

The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

For expert and fiduciary financial services, you can also schedule a free chat with Pillar Wealth Management. We are an independent and 100% fee-only wealth management firm, dealing exclusively with affluent individuals and families with $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets. Our broad range of services includes asset allocation, investment and portfolio management, tax management, insurance, estate planning, and more. We consider each client’s unique financial circumstances and their personal goals to develop customized financial solutions so that they can quickly attain financial serenity.

In this blog, we’ll be discussing the difference between a financial planner and a financial advisor, what such an advisor can do, the average fee of a financial advisor, and how to find the right financial planning advisor for you. Let’s dive in.

Is a Financial Planner the Same as a Financial Advisor?

Firstly, we need to clarify that there are numerous kinds of financial advisors out there. Depending on the type of services you require, you might need to consult an investment manager, broker, wealth manager, etc. Similarly, another type of financial advisor is a financial planner.

So, what is the difference between the two? For starters, a financial advisor is more of an umbrella term for all these advisors, and financial planner is just another category of financial advisors. As their name suggests, financial planners help you with your financial planning. This could be a one-time thing, or they would work with you on a continuous basis to keep monitoring and adjusting your financial plan.

This plan can be for achieving short or long-term goals. Furthermore, financial planners can also specialize in certain services such as tax management or debt management. There are also certified financial planners (CFP) who hold additional certifications and licenses and are, therefore, much more skilled and experienced than regular financial planners.

Coming on to a financial advisor, they can provide you with financial planning services and much more along with that. They can advise you regarding your investment portfolios, tax strategies, retirement plans, estate plans, and much more. They offer much more diverse financial planning and financial advisory services and help you develop a much more integrated financial plan.

So, every financial planner can be a financial advisor, but every financial advisor isn’t always a financial planner. Therefore, if you need comprehensive wealth management services, it’s best to choose a financial planning advisor that can help address all your financial concerns.

Keep reading to find out all that such an advisor can do for you. If you’re still unclear about the difference between the two, you can start a free chat with our advisors to get all your questions answered.

Financial Planning Advisor

What Can a Financial Advisor Do to Help You?

If you are still wondering why you need to work with a financial planning advisor, there are several reasons. Firstly, you might not be able to successfully execute and fulfill all your goals on your own.

Secondly, you might have other businesses to run or real estate to oversee, and this won’t give you any time to manage other aspects of your wealth. Most importantly, working with a financial advisor can bring about significant increases in your overall returns and revenues, allowing you to grow your wealth further.

How does a financial advisor do this? Here’s how.

Financial Planning

Even if you are specifically looking for financial planning services only, a financial advisor can help you. Such advisors will work with you closely to understand all your goals and concerns and then draft a financial plan accordingly.

They will help you understand the plan and discuss it with you on length to answer all your queries and satisfy any concerns. This way, even if you are not managing things directly, you will always know what’s going on. The financial advisor will also provide monthly or quarterly reports so that you can track your progress.

Range of Services

Besides financial planning, financial advisors will also provide a wide range of other services as well. This can include investment management, cash flow planning, retirement planning, estate planning, philanthropic planning, debt management, legal assistance, tax planning, risk management, accounting, and much more.

You can avail all these services with one advisor only, rather than hiring several advisors separately for each service and driving up your costs. Moreover, since they will be overseeing all of your financial activities, they will always be better able to plan your next financial decisions while considering its impact on all other assets and wealth.

You can find all of these services and more at Pillar Wealth Management. Contact our fiduciary advisors to find out more.

Fiduciary Duty

One of the biggest things a financial advisor can do to help you is to provide fiduciary services. This is a strict standard of care that forces financial advisors to provide the best services to their clients. They can not have any conflicts of interest or hold their interests above their clients’ interests.

They must always act in good faith with honesty and integrity. They must always disclose all necessary information so that you can make more informed decisions. Only when you have such a fiduciary financial advisor can you fully trust them and attain financial serenity.

Tailored Financial Plans

A financial advisor can help with tailored financial plans. They don’t ask simple questions like what is your risk tolerance and how much returns are you looking for. Instead, they ask much harder questions like what are your goals and aspirations in life? Where do you see yourself in five, ten, twenty, or even thirty years? What kind of retirement do you dream of? What are your plans for your family and heirs?

Based on these, they develop customized investment strategies, retirement plans, tax management strategies, trust funds, etc., so that you can accomplish all that you want in life. Read our guide on portfolio performance to discover why tailored plans are so crucial for your financial success.

Managing Wealth Through Major Life Changes

Wealth management and financial planning can be relatively easier when everything is going exactly as planned in your life, and the market is also behaving perfectly. However, when things start going wrong, it’s hard to grow your wealth and protect your assets at the same time.

That’s why financial advisors make sure to have certain contingency plans as well to help you navigate unforeseen circumstances with a minimal financial loss. This can include market changes, a marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, buying a second home, and much more.

At times like this, it can be hard to think objectively about your goals and targets so financial advisors can help safely guide you through. You can learn more about protecting your wealth and growing your assets from our book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High-Net-Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies for Families Worth $25 million to $500 million.

Managing Costs

A financial planning advisorcan also help you with your costs and expenses. These can be a major drain on your wealth and make all your financial activities inefficient. After all, what’s the use of reaping high returns on your investments if you’re going to lose a significant portion of it to taxes and other costs.

Financial advisors carefully evaluate all financial decisions to assess their cost implications and advise you accordingly to minimize your expenses. That’s one of the reasons why at Pillar Wealth Management, we always recommend an optimal balance between active and passive money management. You can learn more about it from our fantastic guide on portfolio growth strategies.

What is the Average Fee for a Financial Advisor?

Well, all those benefits and services sound great, but the real question is, how much will you have to pay such advisors for all those services? Well, it depends on various factors. For instance, if you hire a financial planner, they can charge you anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 for their consultation services.

Moreover, if you continue to avail their services, the fees could be several hundred dollars per session. Besides that, if you go for a financial advisor, they could either charge you commission or a straight fee. Commission-based advisors often face conflicts of interest, so you need to be careful when working with them.

The best option is to go for fee-only financial advisors. They charge you a percentage, usually around 1 to 2%, of the total assets under management. Moreover, they can also lower their fees as your net worth grows. For instance, at Pillar Wealth Management, our minimum net worth requirement is $5 million, on which we charge a 1% fee. This means you will have to pay around $50,000. However, once your net worth crosses $10 million, we discount our rates.

Additionally, when you are discussing these fees and costs with your advisor, remember that their fee is just one of the many costs you will have to bear. There will be transaction charges, margin interests, bond sale spreads, internal expenses, and much more. If your advisor doesn’t explain and guide you about all these other costs, it’s a big sign that they are not the right advisor for you. Check out our exclusive guide on the best financial advisors to learn about other such signs you need to watch out for.

Finding the Right Financial Planning Advisor

Finally, it’s not enough to work with just any financial advisor. You have to pick the one that best suits someone of your caliber as well as your needs and goals. Therefore, here’s what you should do to find the right advisor.

• Assess your needs to determine what kind of financial advisor and services you require.

• Do a background check of the firm to ensure they have all the necessary credentials and certifications and are fiduciary advisors.

• Check their years of experience to make sure they are experts and highly skilled in their services.

• Check their clientele to see what kind of clients they are familiar with.

• Go through reviews and testimonials to see what others are saying about their services and what kind of reputation they hold in the market.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right financial planning advisor for yourself is definitely a hard task. However, if you do invest a little time and effort at this step, you will reap its benefits throughout your life. Your advisor will stick with you till your death and even after that to ensure the financial security of your heirs and loved ones. So, make sure you go through our detailed guide on finding the right financial advisors for investors worth $10 million or more.

You can also check out Pillar Wealth Management for some of the best financial advisors. Our fiduciary advisors have more than six decades of combined experience in offering these financial services. Furthermore, to make sure we are always providing the highest level of services to our clients, we deal exclusively with high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families and only take on a limited number of clients each year. If you have $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets and are searching for a qualified and experienced financial advisor, plan a free consultation with Pillar Wealth Management today.


To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

You see, our goal is to only accept 17 new clients this year. Clients who have from $5 million to $500 million in liquid investable assets to entrust us with on a 100% fee basis. No commissions and no products for sale.

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