A financial planner or financial consultant is an individual qualified to provide financial advice to individuals or households. Practicing in independently owned full service personal finance, the majority of them advise clients on savings, investing, pension, taxes, estate and insurance planning. Planning services are offered for individuals, families, students, corporations and other groups. They also offer advisory services for government organizations, educational institutions, hospitals, real estate agents and mortgage brokers. Some financial planners are self-employed, others work for large firms providing financial planning as part of a profession.
Some financial planners start their businesses independently or as a division of larger firms, while some work for large, complex organizations as affiliates or independent consultants. The pricing model of financial planners varies across firms. The fees depend on the complexity and the size of the project, the financial plan that is to be managed and the experience and qualifications of the financial planners. In addition, financial planners work according to certain time schedules, such as daily, weekly or monthly. The fees may be hourly or salaried, with prices increasing for complex projects.
To help financial planners effectively manage their clients’ affairs, it is important that they develop an appropriate working model for each client. This requires ongoing interaction between the planner and the client to ensure that both understand the need of their client and the best way to meet that need. Some common factors in financial planners’ working models include setting long-term goals, identifying threats and protecting the client against risks, setting risk thresholds, monitoring the current financial situation and developing plans to ensure long-term viability. In addition, financial planners must keep in mind that each client has his or her own goals and needs and the same process of consulting can not be used to address all these needs. However, by developing and following a personalized, unique financial plan for each client, financial planners help their clients secure an improved quality of life through sound financial planning.