Financial advice or financial planning? 6 ways the latter can benefit your clients

There’s a lot to think about when making financial plans, from saving enough to fund the retirement lifestyle you want, to achieving your investment goals.

So, your clients may benefit from professional financial support. However, the choices available and the terminologies used in the financial industry can be confusing.

For example, your clients might believe that “financial planning” and “financial advice” are the same, when in fact, there are important differences between the two. Understanding these differences could help your clients access the support they need to achieve their goals.

Read on to learn about the services that financial advisers and planners offer, and find out six ways a financial planner could benefit your client.

Financial advisers tend to offer short-term, product-based support

To understand the benefits a financial planner could offer your client, it may be useful to consider how the role of a financial adviser differs.

A financial adviser can help your client manage their money, including savings, investments, pensions, and so on.

They will typically focus on:

  • Providing product-led advice – For example, they may offer guidance and support on finding appropriate life insurance or setting up a pension.
  • Offering support on a short-term basis – The relationship may end once an appropriate product has been identified.
  • Meeting a specific need – This might be pension or estate planning. They will typically only advise your client on the issue they have asked for help with.
  • Investment returns – They may help your client select and manage their investments.

In summary, a financial adviser will typically focus on helping your client with a single problem, rather than looking at their broader life goals.

6 ways a financial planner could benefit your client

In contrast to a financial adviser, a financial planner can help your client consider the bigger picture.

Rather than focusing solely on a specific issue or product, they can consider all aspects of your client’s life and create a strategy that will help them meet their financial goals. This may benefit your client in several ways.

1. Identify meaningful goals

They could gain insight into their financial situation as part of a broader view of their wellbeing and life goals.

A financial planner might ask questions such as, “What is most important to you and your family?” or “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” to help your client take a holistic view of their finances.

2. Align their financial goals with broader life goals

Rather than focus on products, a planner can help your client define how they want their life to look, and then create a financial plan to help them achieve this.

3. Receive ongoing support

A financial planner might build a long-term relationship with your client. This could allow them to regularly review and adjust your client’s financial plans as their circumstances and needs change.

For example, they might use cashflow modelling to forecast future income and expenditure, which could help your client achieve the retirement lifestyle they want.

4. Improve their financial literacy

Through regular interaction over time, your client could improve their understanding of personal finance matters and feel more confident about managing their money.

This could help them to achieve their long-term goals.

5. Plan their finances as a family

A financial planner could help your client involve their family in discussions about their wealth.

This could ensure that wealth is transferred tax-efficiently and that everyone feels prepared for the future – for example, by creating an estate plan together.

6. Meet multiple needs as they arise

By working collaboratively with other professionals, such as tax advisers and solicitors, a financial planner can offer a holistic service that meets multiple needs with maximum efficiency.

Aligning your client’s financial plan with their life goals

While both a financial adviser and a financial planner can offer support to your client, their services differ considerably.

In summary, a financial planner will typically offer a holistic and personalised service that aligns your client’s financial plans with their broader life goals.

For example, if your client has a lump sum and isn’t sure what to do with it, a financial adviser could offer specialist guidance on how they might want to invest it.

A financial planner can do this too, but they could also help your client think of the bigger picture by first understanding their life goals and then building a plan to help them achieve this by making the best use of their lump sum.

Get in touch

If your client would like to find out more about how an experienced financial planner can support them in achieving their financial goals, it would be great to hear from them.

Please email us at or call 0345 505 3500.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate estate planning or cashflow planning.