A financial planner or financial consultant is an expert financial advisor employed by individuals or organizations for a fee. They advise clients on investment, insurance, taxes, estate and retirement planning. While all the same financial planners can recommend different investment options and provide different advice, they also have specialization in one particular area like investment in real estate or financial options for retirement. For example, while a planner may be an expert in tax planning, if the client is interested in saving for retirement then he/she will need a planner who is good at tax planning only.
Most financial planners are employed by large firms or banks as financial advisors. They help formulate long-term financial goals for their clients based on their past and current situation and recommend strategies to achieve those long-term financial goals. The strategies that they recommend are based on their expertise and research and they may recommend changes in personal budgeting, asset allocation, investment strategies and real estate portfolios. However, some of them also provide customized financial planning services for high-risk individual and families, young couples, and even for corporations.
Besides having a wide specialization like investment and real estate planning, financial planners also work with their clients to set up a financial strategy, develop an asset allocation plan, and recommend tax-deferred and Roth IRA investments. Moreover, financial planners can also develop financial strategies for their clients that may include asset protection through estate planning, travel and vacation planning, education savings programs, protection of 401(k) and other retirement plans and setting up a child support payment program. There are many more areas of specialization in which these specialized advisors can work. However, they all have in common the basic principles of planning for long-term financial goals and their ability to assist clients achieve those goals.